Summer Work Travel USA

Summer Work Travel USA

Explore the U.S. During Your Summer Holiday

The J-1 Summer Work Travel USA cultural exchange program is a unique opportunity for international university students to experience life in the United States first-hand through summer work experience with American host companies. AAG is a designated sponsor of the U.S. Department of State J-1 Summer Work Travel program.

Am I eligible?

To participate in the Summer Work Travel USA program, you must:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Have sufficiently proficient English to successfully interact in an English speaking environment.
  • Be post-secondary school students enrolled in and actively pursuing a degree or other full-time course of study at an accredited post-secondary educational institution outside the U.S.
  • Have successfully completed at least one semester or equivalent of post-secondary academic study.

    You will have the opportunity to work side-by-side with Americans in seasonal or temporary job placements at popular tourist destinations, restaurants, or amusement parks across the U.S. You’ll have a chance to meet new friends, learn about U.S. culture, improve your English, and add international experience to your CV.

    The following are not permitted in the J-1 Summer Work Travel USA program:

    • You cannot work as a nanny, babysitter or any domestic job in someone else’s house
    • You cannot use your own money to purchase inventory to sell items door-to-door
    • You may not work in the adult entertainment industry
    • You may not work in positions that are substantially commission-based and thus do not guarantee that you will be paid at minimum, the federal prevailing wage
    • You may not work as pedicab or rolling chair drivers or operators
    • You may not work as operators of vehicles or vessels that carry passengers for hire and/or for which commercial drivers’ licenses are required
    • You may not work in any position related to clinical care that involves patient contact
    • You may not work in any position that could bring notoriety or disrepute to the Summer Work Travel program, AAG, or the U.S. Department of State

    Sponsors must not place participants:

    • In positions that could bring notoriety or disrepute to the Exchange Visitor Program;
    • In sales positions that require participants to purchase inventory that they must sell in order to support themselves;
    • In domestic help positions in private homes (e.g., child care, elder care, gardener, chauffeur);
    • As pedicab or rolling chair drivers or operators;
    • As operators or drivers of vehicles or vessels for which drivers’ licenses are required regardless of whether they carry passengers or not;
    • In positions related to clinical care that involves patient contact;
    • In any position in the adult entertainment industry (including, but not limited to jobs with escort services, adult book/video stores, and strip clubs);
    • In positions requiring work hours that fall predominantly between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am;
    • In positions declared hazardous to youth by the Secretary of Labor at Subpart E of 29 CFR part 570;
    • In positions that require sustained physical contact with other people and/or adherence to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Universal Blood and Body Fluid Precautions guidelines (e.g., body piercing, tattooing, massage, manicure);
    • In positions that are substantially commission-based and thus do not guarantee that participants will be paid minimum wage in accordance with federal and state standards;
    • In positions involved in gaming and gambling that include direct participation in wagering and/or betting;
    • In positions in chemical pest control, warehousing, catalogue/online order distribution centers;
    • In positions with traveling fairs or itinerant concessionaires;
    • In jobs that do not allow participants to work alongside U.S. citizens and interact regularly with U.S. citizens and to experience U.S. culture during the workday portion of their Summer Work Travel programs;
    • With employers that fill non-seasonal or non-temporary job openings with exchange visitors with staggered vacation schedules;
    • In positions that require licensing;
    • In positions for which there is another specific J visa category (e.g., Camp Counselor, Trainee, Intern);
    • In positions with staffing agencies, unless the placements meet the following three criteria:
      • Participants must be employees of and paid by the staffing agencies
      • Staffing agencies must provide full-time, primary, on-site supervision of the participants
      • Staffing agencies must effectively control the work sites, e.g., have hands-on management responsibility for the participants
    • After November 1, 2012, in positions in the North American Industry Classification System’s (NAICS) Goods-Producing Industries occupational categories industry sectors 11, 21, 23, 31-33 numbers (set forth at http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag_index_naics.htm).

    Sponsors must also:

    • Use extra caution when placing students in positions at employers in lines of business that are frequently associated with trafficking persons (e.g., modeling agencies, housekeeping, janitorial services);
    • Consider the availability of suitable, affordable housing (e.g., that meets local codes and ordinances) and reliable, affordable, and convenient transportation to and from work when making job placements;
    • Actively and immediately assist participants with arranging appropriate housing and transportation, if employers do not provide or arrange housing and/or transportation, or if participants decline employer-provided housing or transportation;
    • Confirm at the beginning of each placement season:
      • The number of job placements available with host employers
      • That host employers will not displace domestic U.S. workers at worksites where they will place program participants
      • That host employers have not experienced layoffs in the past 120 days and do not have workers on lockout or on strike

    Sponsors may place participants only in jobs that:

    • Are seasonal or temporary;
    • Provide opportunities for regular communication and interaction with U.S. citizens and allow participants to experience U.S. culture.

    Participants in the J-1 Summer Work Travel USA program may stay in the U.S. for up to 4 months. However, actual program length depends on the participants’ official university vacation dates.

    To learn more about this program and its requirements, visit http://j1visa.state.gov/programs/summer-work-travel

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