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Not trying to be negative but the reality here is you can't legally just work for food and shelter in the US. Whoever makes you work that way is very likely breaking federal and/state laws even if you are not. At the very least you will have to get paid prevailing minimum wage. And the employer can only hire you if you are authorized to work.

A very narrow exception exists for unpaid interns. But that requires one to also be authorized to work in one form or the other for e.g. as a student who needs work experience in his/her field of study.

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