Visa Exceptions For International Volunteers in the Parks

For foreign nationals already in the United States who want to volunteer with the U.S. National Park Service:

If you are currently in the U.S. and have another type of visa besides a J1, such as a B2 tourist visa or a work visa, most likely you will not be able to volunteer with the National Park Service. Although we appreciate your good intentions, U.S. Immigration laws prohibit foreign citizens from volunteering with the NPS unless they have a J1 visa or meet one of these 3 exceptions:

1) You will not be reimbursed by the NPS unit in any form or way - this includes providing you with housing.

2) You have an F1 Student Visa and you meet special conditions which allow you to do an internship. (Your university's foreign student advisor must contact the IVIP Coordinator and the park to coordinate your internship.)

3) Your current J1 sponsor agrees to transfer you to the NPS, your program is in the category of trainee and your program has not expired.

If you meet any of the above exceptions, you may be able to volunteer. However, the National Park or office must clear your program through the IVIP Coordinator before you start volunteering. The proper paperwork must be completed and filed. Failure to do so may harm your permanent immigration record.

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