The Worldwide Farmers Exchange (WFE) General Agriculture Program is dependent upon hosts providing work-experience training in agriculture and cultural exchange to participants from other countries. Applicants are approved by the host. Please understand that it may take three weeks to six months or more before your trainee or intern arrives. Interns and trainees may arrive anytime during the year. Apply to become a host now!
To apply to be a host with the WFE program, a signed hosting application must be submitted by e-mail, fax, or post. As a host, you must be prepared to provide participants adequate housing and cultural exchange opportunities, to arrange transportation to local destinations (i.e. the grocery store, Social Security office, bank, etc.), and make available a means of communication (costs related to phone and Internet usage are the participant's responsibility).
2. Select Applicants
Once your hosting application has been approved, WFE carefully selects applications to match your agribusiness and sends you copies for review. WFE receives applications from all over the world. If you are interested in hosting more than one participant at a time, WFE strongly advises you to select a mixture of applicants from different countries.
3. Training/Internship Placement Plan (DS-7002)
Once you select an applicant, you must cooperate with WFE to prepare a Training/Internship Placement Plan (DS-7002). The DS-7002 must be signed by both you and the applicant. The DS-7002 is required by the U.S. Government and is an agreement between you, the applicant, and WFE to carry out the training plan outlined in the form. Under U.S. Government regulations, WFE cannot prepare visa documents until you and the applicant have signed and returned the DS-7002.
4. Visa Application Process
Once the DS-7002 has been signed, WFE prepares a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (DS-2019). The DS-2019 is sent by international express mail, together with other documents the applicant needs to apply for a visa. The applicant must then pay the SEVIS (I-901) fee (currently US$180), fill out the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160), and arrange for an interview with a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Interview appointments are set by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate and the decision to grant or deny a visa is at the sole discretion of the consular officer. If a visa is denied, the applicant may choose to apply again. If an applicant is unable to obtain a visa, you may opt to select another applicant. Visas are issued for a limited period, but are only necessary to enter the U.S. (see Exiting the Program).
Provided a visa is granted, participants must contact WFE (and you, the host) to coordinate their arrival date in the U.S. The General Agriculture Program is 12 months in length, unless a different program length is agreed upon in the DS-7002. Once the participant arrives, it is important that you notify WFE. If necessary, the dates on the participants DS-2019 will be adjusted to reflect the participants’ actual start date, and the new DS-2019 will show the dates of their program. Participants have 30 days following program completion to exit the U.S.
The process from your selection of an applicant to visa issuance and arrival can take weeks or even months due to many factors, including shipment delays, consular appointment availability, etc. WFE does our best to process visa application documents quickly, but participants may not be able to arrive on their projected start date as indicated on the DS-7002 and DS-2019. WFE will invoice you for a monthly fee. From this fee, WFE pays a stipend to the participant and uses the remainder to cover program costs, including medical insurance for the participant.
WFE also has a separate Viticulture and Enology Program.