Wine Program

Going to the US

Wine Program - Going to the US

The Worldwide Farmers Exchange (WFE) Viticulture and Enology Program is generally oriented around the wine crush season and requires substantial experience in the wine industry. Placements are very competitive. The steps from application to visa and travel may take two weeks to two months and possibly longer. If you are looking for a different field of agriculture, find out more about WFE’s General Agriculture Program. Get started now!

1.  Apply

You can submit your application to WFE by email, mail, or fax. You can find specific instructions for how to submit the form at the end of the application. When submitting the application, include: 

  • Your Application form
  • A copy of the identification page of your passport
  • Any previous J visas you have received
  • Your CV, résumé, and diploma (if applicable)
  • Your Medical Statement form, completed by a licensed physician
  • Placement offer from U.S. winery (if applicable)

Please be as detailed as possible when filling out the application. If you already have a placement offer, you must submit your offer letter with your application materials.

2.  Placement

Most applicants have a placement offer in the U.S. before applying, but some do not. If you do not yet have a placement offer, WFE will submit your application to hosts who have requested applications for review. Please understand that your application may not be accepted by any host.

3.  Training/Internship Placement Plan (DS-7002)

If a host accepts your application, WFE and the host will cooperate to prepare a Training/Internship Placement Plan (DS-7002). The DS-7002 must be signed by you and the host, and must be returned by e-mail or fax. The DS-7002 is required by the U.S. Government and is an agreement between you, the host, and WFE to carry out the training plan outlined in the form. Under U.S. Government regulations, WFE cannot prepare visa application documents until you and the host have signed and returned the DS-7002.

4.  Visa Application Documents

When the DS-7002 has been signed by both you and the host and the first payment of your program fee has been made, WFE prepares a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (DS-2019) and other documents needed to apply for an Exchange Visitor (J-1) visa and sends these documents to you by international express mail, directly or through an in-country partner. 

5.  Visa Process

After receiving the visa application documents, you must complete an Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160) in order to make an appointment for a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.The current fee charged by the U.S. Government for a J-1 visa is approximately US$160. Interview appointments are set by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate and the decision to grant or deny you a visa is at the sole discretion of the consular officer.

6.  Arrival

If a visa is granted, you must contact WFE and the host to coordinate your arrival in the U.S. Your visa will be for a limited period, but you only need it to enter the U.S. After you arrive, the program dates on your DS-2019 specify the length of your program. After completing the program, you have 30 days to leave the U.S. (see Exiting the Program).

WFE charges a partial program fee of $1000 upon signing the DS-7002 (prior to shipment of the visa documents) and the remainder of the fee ($850) after the visa is granted (prior to arrival in the United States). A standard program fee will be charged for your program, but an additional fee may be charged if you stay in the U.S. more than six months. The standard program fee covers the following: 

  • document processing and record maintenance within the SEVIS system
  • medical insurance for the duration of your stay in the U.S. (except co-payments)
  • individualized tax return assistance following program completion
  • SEVIS I-901 fee

The following costs are your responsibility:

  • travel costs
  • housing, utilities and meals*
  • co-payments for medical insurance

*Your host can help you find housing in the area, but rent and utility costs are your responsibility.