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|Re: Canadians use J-1 visa by Zane Good|
You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to be eligible for volunteer positions in federally managed parks, forests, refuges, etc. All non-resident, non-U.S. citizens who wish to volunteer must enter the country pursuant to a J-1 visa. The Department of State/Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) considers any type of reimbursement, whether it be for housing, meals, or other types of compensation (e.g., for training), as a form of payment. It is illegal for a person traveling under a normal tourist visa to work for compensation. The J-1 visa application, Form IAP-66, can be issued by the National Park Service Office of International Affairs.
To be legally employed in any other capacity (regardless of whether you are paid in wages or services/materials) you will need a temporary work visa, which is very difficult to obtain for these types of positions. For more information, contact the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service at http://www.ins.usdoj.gov. Americans wishing to be employed in Canada face similar restrictions.