Non American

(Donna asks...)

If I am not an American citizen, can I just work for free facilities?

Coleen, the working while RVing editor replies:

Donna, you may be able to do some volunteer work where they provide you some use of the campground or other facilities. Check with the particular non-profit, charitable, educational, or government agency that you are interested in volunteering with to find out their requirements.

As for a job in the private sector, to legally work in the USA you need to have the proper paperwork. I'm not a lawyer and can't give you legal advice, but I don't think it matters if you are paid by check or if it is a barter situation where your compensation is the use of the facility.

Go to the Workers On Wheels Work for RVers and Campers blog.

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No Compensation Whatsoever Allowed for Volunteer Work

Actually, I spoke with the coordinator of the National Parks Service international volunteer program. A foreigner *cannot* be compensated for volunteer work, not even with a site. The IRS considers the site to be taxable income so the INS considers that you are doing paid work, which is illegal unless you have a work visa.

NPS IVIP Program

Rae, thank you for pointing out the National Park System's International Volunteers in Parks (IVIP) Program. They have an excellent website with much information, including a question and answer page.

Here's something quoted from their FAQ page that may be particularly helpful:

International Volunteers in Parks (IVIP)
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I'm from another country and I'm interested in working in one of your U.S. national parks. What short or long-term opportunities are available to me?

A: Because the National Park Service is an agency of the United States government, it can only hire United States citizens. However, we do have opportunities for foreign nationals to volunteer and to participate in park training programs with us. Most programs are from several months to a maximum of 12 months in length. These programs usually have some type of benefits (in-depth training, free housing, free uniform, etc.), but you will not be able to earn a salary or wages.

=== end International Volunteers in Parks (IVIP) Frequently Asked Questions quote ===

NPS International Volunteers in Parks Program website

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