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I am a Dutch citizen planning on going on a big trip to the USA from January 2014 to October 2014. I want to visit Canada and Honduras as well during this trip, but these will be short vacation like trips. My focus will be on the USA.

The basic plan is to travel across the US, work in a restaurant/bar/any place that hires me or do an internship at a company for a couple of months (graduated aerospace engineer by then), and then travel some more. WWOOF'ing for a while is also part of the plan.
I do not plan on immigrating to the USA, so it's going to be a long temporal stay.

My question is now: if this type of journey is possible, what documents do I need?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

I am afraid there is no temporary (nonimmigrant) visa that allows you to be a tourist and work at the same time (except for H-1B, H-2B), and by work I mean getting paid by any US employer.

As a Dutch citizen, you can enter under the visa waiver program which allows you enter for tourism/business/medical reasons only. You will not be allowed to work. To work in the US temporarily you need to have a H-1B visa, to obtain that you need to have a job offer from a US employer. If you managed to get that then you are allowed to work with this employer only and changing the employer is another story. So I do not think this fits your needs.

Regarding WWOOF, their page makes it clear that obtaining the right visa type is your responsibility and they are not responsible and can not offer any help. Anyway, since WWOOF is not a paid work neither volunteering it will be ok to become a WWOOFer with your tourist visa, according to their website:

WWOOF is an opportunity to visit farms affiliated with our network for a cultural and educational exchange. Most people outside the United States who come WWOOFing use a holiday or tourist visa. Although many of the hosts on our network are associated with organic lifestyles and sustainability, it is important to note that persons associated with WWOOF-USA are travelers experiencing a wide variety of sustainable living situations and are not "workers" or "working" for wages or other remuneration in the United States.

Bottom line, you need to change your plans a little, removing the "working in restaurants" part will make your trip possible and legal with a tourist visa, other option would be obtaining an immigrant visa which takes time and not as easy as nonimmigrant visa.

For more information: Types of visas for temporary visitors.

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