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  1. #1

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    Employment authorization for Disney World?

    I'm not sure if this is the right section to be asking this, so just move it to where it should be if I'm in the wrong here.

    Okay, I'm Canadian but I would like to audition for a show or face characters or some such thing for Disney World. I e-mailed them and asked them if they employ people from outside the USA, specifically Canadians, and they told me I need employment authorization.
    Well, everywhere I've looked and everyone I've spoken to says that I can only get the authorization AFTER I've been offered a job. So now I'm confused. What do I do? Are they going to ask me to show something? And if they do, what do I need to show? Or will I be okay just going in there and auditioning?

    I hope that wasn't too confusing. Clear as mud, everyone?
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  2. #2

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    Re: Employment authorization for Disney World?

    Your best bet is to become an American citizen, then apply. Because if you're looking to get into Entertainment, it sounds like you're wanting to be here a while. So apply for citizenship, become an American, then apply for the job.

  3. #3

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    Talking Re: Employment authorization for Disney World?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smoozie View Post
    I'm not sure if this is the right section to be asking this, so just move it to where it should be if I'm in the wrong here.

    Okay, I'm Canadian but I would like to audition for a show or face characters or some such thing for Disney World. I e-mailed them and asked them if they employ people from outside the USA, specifically Canadians, and they told me I need employment authorization.
    Well, everywhere I've looked and everyone I've spoken to says that I can only get the authorization AFTER I've been offered a job. So now I'm confused. What do I do? Are they going to ask me to show something? And if they do, what do I need to show? Or will I be okay just going in there and auditioning?

    I hope that wasn't too confusing. Clear as mud, everyone?
    I know that it does seem like a catch 22! There area number of Visas that you can apply for and a lot of them require that you already have a job offer from a company, or the company that you are working for applies for it on your behalf.

    You could go the path of the international program, and then you will end up at WDW in Canada, where you will be able to then get a green card and be able to transfer positions within the company.

    Ummmm besides that I suggest that you call casting and talk to someone there.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Employment authorization for Disney World?

    As part of your paperwork when you apply - you will be asked if you are authorized to work in the US, and if not a citizen, provide the visa proving it.

    To get a visa tho - you need a sponsor - so the company has to be willing to sponsor you (so they would be looking to hire you).

    It boils down to - the company must agree to hire you as a foreign national and sponsor you through the visa process.

    You can travel to the US without a Visa because you are Canadian - but you are not allowed to work for employment without one.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Employment authorization for Disney World?

    Check the US Citizenship and Immigration web site USCIS Home Page. Then you may become thoroughly confused. As far as I know it is a royal pain in the @$$ to get person legal rights to work here. But if your illegal its ok...
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  6. #6

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    Re: Employment authorization for Disney World?

    I would assume that any of the international CMs working at EPCOT would be able to answer this question... Is anyone out there who is a foreign national working at WDW? Anyone? Bueller?

  7. #7

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    Re: Employment authorization for Disney World?

    That's the difference... if you get accepted into the International exchange program - the company has agreed to hire you and therefore will sponsor you for a visa.

    The OP was more talking about just going there and trying to get a job. It would be very hard to do that - his only option is really the international exchange. But that is for students, and from certain schools.

    Currently in canada those are

    * St. Catherines, Ontario
    o Brock University
    * Toronto, Ontario
    o Ryerson University

    Student visas are pretty easy to get relative to others - that's why all the summer help you see come into the country are University age.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Employment authorization for Disney World?

    I thought most of the International CM's at Epcot auditioned locally in their own countries and then they where sponsored by Disney after they are selected? It sounds like Smoozie wants to come here for a job but Disney wants them pre sponsored before the interview at WDW.

    I would ask the question of casting a little differntly, ask them when and where they will be casting in Canada and do the interview locally and then let the Disney leagl team guide you though the visa process. This is probaly the "right way" of doing it...

    If your still in colege, or around that age you can get a student visa a lot easier than a work visa, then apply for the Disney colege program, and work with Disney for the real Visa.

    Alternatively you could get a different job that will sponsor a visa, then go audition for WDW and if you get it your in. I actually know of one person who did that workign at of all places McDonalds and then got a "real" job in the US who married a friend of mine from college. So it can be done, the risk there is you may get stuck in a job you don't particularly like or that dosn't give you enough time to practice for the auditions.

    Or just march on in to central casting, resume and all in hand and show them how great you are, who knows you may get lucky, I've heard of more than one CM who got the brush off based on just the paper resume get a Job that way.

    Good Luck!
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  9. #9

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    Re: Employment authorization for Disney World?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerren View Post
    I thought most of the International CM's at Epcot auditioned locally in their own countries and then they where sponsored by Disney after they are selected?
    Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerren View Post
    It sounds like Smoozie wants to come here for a job but Disney wants them pre sponsored before the interview at WDW.
    Yes, which would be very difficult to do because it's not worth the employer's hassle

    All of the visa programs (except H1-B which is for specific professions) are temporary. You can't just come to the country as a visitor and expect to find work and stay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerren View Post
    I would ask the question of casting a little differntly, ask them when and where they will be casting in Canada and do the interview locally and then let the Disney leagl team guide you though the visa process. This is probaly the "right way" of doing it...
    Yup - which is the international exchange program at the universities I listed above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerren View Post
    If your still in colege, or around that age you can get a student visa a lot easier than a work visa, then apply for the Disney colege program, and work with Disney for the real Visa.
    You can get a student summer work visa relatively simple - but those are limited to a short time period. No one is going to work towards their green card on a Disney CM salary alone.. and Disney isn't going to pay for it either

    This is why the international exchange program is based on students and is fixed time duration. That's due to the requirements of the J-1 visa program - it's a temporary exchange student/work program - not a resident alien program

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerren View Post
    Alternatively you could get a different job that will sponsor a visa, then go audition for WDW and if you get it your in. I actually know of one person who did that workign at of all places McDonalds and then got a "real" job in the US who married a friend of mine from college. So it can be done, the risk there is you may get stuck in a job you don't particularly like or that dosn't give you enough time to practice for the auditions.
    Not quite... while here on a summer work visa you can switch jobs and that.. depending on the sponsor's terms, but just because you are working doesn't mean you get to stay longer. Your Visa would expire, and technically you would not be allowed to work (or even be in the country). Sounds like in your friends case.. they stayed by marring a citizen or even over stayed their Visa to start with.

    J-1 Summer work/travel visas are only for the student's summer vacation and require a sponsor, but not all sponsors lock you into working for them for the duration (think of the students at the beaches during the summer).

    J-1 Student visas are intended for those actually going to school here and limit how much and where you can work.

    Essentially there are 4 major buckets for foreign nationals looking to work here without seeking resident alien status...

    H1-B Visas - Intended for hiring foreign nationals in specific professions. There are quotas on this, and this is for 'professional' (college educated and pre-selected) positions

    J1 Student Visas - Intended for full-time students studying here as their main focus. They allow limited working outside of school.

    J1 Summer Work/Travel Visas - Intended for students to work/travel here during their school's summer holiday.

    J1 Specialized Work - There are various categories of specific work (like Au Pairs) that allow exchange workers to come for longer durations then the summer work category.

    If the OP is serious.. his best step is to contact one of the Sponsor agencies and talk with their for possibilities. If you are a student, there is a lot more possibilities for you, but none of them are going to be open-ended stay type things. That's called 'immigration'

    Here is a list of the State Department's list of sponsor agencies for J visas
    J-Exchanges
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  10. #10

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    Re: Employment authorization for Disney World?

    Wow lots of info, thanks guys. And just for the record, I'm a girl. hehehe.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Employment authorization for Disney World?

    Instead of e-mailing casting I would suggest calling them directly and speaking with a "live" person. Call - 407-824-2222 and ask to be transferred to casting. That is the main switchboard. Also, keep in mind a lot of the entertainers are members of Actor's Equity...being a member would help in your pursuit as this let's them know you are an experienced performer. But call, at least get the right people and then let them tell you what to do from there....

  12. #12

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    Re: Employment authorization for Disney World?

    Thanks for the information flynn, I've only delt with the h1b's and that was years ago over the past 5-6 years it's been more of a battle to fight hr to allow me to hire Americans vrs just hiring offshore no matter what even when it was not legal to do so.

    (Imagine by Federal law having to have a US citizen to support a government contract. Then imagine having HR tell me I can only hire from India...Then having to explain to them what ITARS means and go round and round for 6-8 months before you can set up an interview by which time the budget for that position is cut higher up to show a profit to the shareholders.... man I'm glad I left that job when I did...)
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  13. #13

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    Re: Employment authorization for Disney World?

    Yup.. H-1bs are much more restrictive since they are targeted at professionals and the system is setup to 'protect' Americans first. 'Student' is a huge catch-all that is much less restrictive and why the 18-25 crowd is where you see so much seasonal or temporary work from foreigners.

    On the topic of professionals.. we get the fun paperwork in the office where HR has to post in public.. the statement saying why they hired a foreign national (instead of a citizen) and it states their work, term, and salary no less.

    A significant portion of our company's business is to the fed - so I'm exposed to the type of runaround you describe. Good news is.. we aren't the contract holders, we are the equipment manufacturer.. so we get to deal with other BS.. like 'made in the us' type crap
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