I've been offered an amazing internship for the duration of two months for a NFP in America, but they want me to start in two weeks. Applying for a J1 visa obviously takes longer than that (4-6 weeks according to the embassy).

I am an Australian citizen.

Would the Visa Waiver ESTA be acceptable in this situation?

  • Note that VWP and ESTA are not the same thing. ESTA is a system of security checks for visitors to the US; VWP is a system by which visitors from certain countries don't need a visa. Oct 25, 2016 at 9:02
  • Your employer should assist you in getting the visa Oct 25, 2016 at 16:32

1 Answer 1


No, the Visa Waiver Program is not suitable for this purpose.

The rules on permitted activities for the VWP are the same as those for a B1/B2 visa.

This flyer produced by the CBP clearly states that an Internship requires a J or H3 visa.

  • 2
    For Australians, the E-3 visa may also be an option, although it's not a great fit for most interns as it requires you to have a completed degree and a market wage: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-3_visa Oct 25, 2016 at 10:30

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