J-1 Summer Work Travel Program

A Seriously Winning Scenario

J-1 Summer Work Travel Program

Employers who have seasonal staffing needs meet enthusiastic and energetic students looking to work and travel in the United States during their summer school vacation. It’s a great match when needs are so compatible! The Summer Work Travel program enables employers to hire and “host” international students during their busiest seasons when they need extra help.

Program participants are thrilled to have the resume-enhancing work experience and the adventure of discovering life in America. It’s an ideal alternative for short-term employment that employers often need during peak business times. It’s also a rare opportunity to introduce and implement cultural immersion that has proven to enrich and enhance both perspectives and lives. It’s a truly winning scenario that meets both parties’ expectations as well as professional and personal goals.

Who Are You?

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

– Mary Oliver

INDIVIDUALS

Overview

You’re in for an adventure of a lifetime when you make the choice to work and live in the United States. One of the world’s greatest economies is home to nationalities, races and religions from every part of the globe where there are endless opportunities for young people to discover their dreams. Americans pride themselves on the entrepreneurial spirit, which has made them strong as a global economy. The life-changing and career-building experiences you’ll gain will last long after returning home.

You’ll experience an amazing culture; make new friends from around the world, while working and learning from some of the finest U.S. businesses. It’s an incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in a diverse environment where you will learn, grow and accomplish.

Discover Yourself Abroad

Summer Work Travel

Our committed employers offer more than just a job. They offer a chance to enhance your skills and broaden your perspectives. This meaningful experience will set you apart from your peers, enrich your life and bring you closer to your dreams.

AAG provides support to you and your host employer to make sure that everyone has compatible goals and a fantastic experience. Participants should be fully prepared to understand the program requirements and eligibility so that they can plan and budget accordingly. There should be no surprises except the ones that delight and excite you!

What’s Included?

Please see what’s covered under the program fee and what you’ll be expected to pay. It’s important that you plan and budget your finances accordingly.

  • Travel health insurance
  • DS-2019 form issuance
  • 24/7 emergency support during the program
  • A job with a top employer in the USA
  • Pre-departure and in-country orientation
  • Fee charged by the embassy for the visa interview schedule and application
  • SEVIS (Student Exchange Visitor Information System) fee paid to the U.S. government
  • Airfare
  • Personal living expenses (housing, meals, local transportation, etc.)

Program Eligibility

Participation in the program is limited to those individuals who meet the age, English speaking requirement, education and other eligibility requirements outlined by the U.S. Department of State.

See if you’re eligible to participate in this amazing opportunity:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You must speak and understand English at a proficient level to interact in a English-speaking environment
  • You have at least one semester or equivalent of post-secondary academic study outside the U.S. completed at the time of application
  • You are 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.
  • You will follow all of the programs regulations and sponsors rules, including a pre-departure orientation, SEVIS check-in, required monthly check-ins and approval for a second job.
  • Intention to participate in cultural exchange activities.

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 your official university vacation dates as well as Department of State designated dates by country.

Good To Know

The Department of State wants to ensure that your program is a safe and positive one, so they’ve put restrictions in place to protect participants, uphold the program principles and safeguard sponsor reputation.

The J-1 Visa offers foreign university and young professionals an opportunity to participate in educational and cultural programs in the United States for a limited period of time.

The State Department J-1 Summer Work Travel Program is an Exchange Visitor Program designed to achieve the educational objectives of international and cultural exchange by involving young adults in the daily life of the host country through temporary employment opportunities, to return home to share their experiences, and to encourage Americans to participate in the educational and cultural programs in other countries. The J-1 Summer Work Travel program is developed through the Department of State via the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961.
More information is available on the U.S. Department of State website.

Students enrolled full-time and pursuing studies at accredited post-secondary academic institutions located outside of the U.S. who have successfully completed at least one semester, or equivalent, of post-secondary academic study.

Alliance Abroad Group is a designated “sponsor” from the U.S. Department of State, authorized to issue the DS-2019 form, the form that allows the participant to apply for the J-1 visa. Once a position offer has been received and signed off on by all parties, the participants take the DS-2019 to the U.S. Embassy in their respective countries in order to obtain their visas. Our overseas partner organizations assist participants in this process. This visa application includes an embassy appointment to ensure that all participants meet the visa requirements and confidently pass screening criteria. We will make everyone aware In the event of any visa processing issues or delays.

The visa process varies by country. A “safe” average is 4- 6 months before the desired arrival period and work start date.
Participants in the J-1 Summer Work Travel program may stay in the U.S. for up to 4 months. However, actual program length depends on the participants’ official university vacation dates as well as Department of State designated dates by country. Participants are not allowed to miss school to participate in the program.

There are three “seasons” of the program depending on the home country’s summer that dictates students’ vacation time.

Winter: South American students come to the U.S. during our winter months, making them ideal candidates for businesses that have high winter spikes.

Spring: Students coming from the Philippines and Ecuador arrive during our Spring Season, which coincides with many employers peak season needs

Summer: A large number of international students that share the same U.S. summer season are available to work when many businesses have additional staffing needs.

Needed documents:

  • Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility) issued by your program sponsor
  • Other supporting documents – check the specific embassy or consulate website
  • Passport valid for travel to the United States
  • Completed Online Form DS-160, nonimmigrant visa application
  • Fee receipt showing payment of the $140 visa application fee
  • 2×2 photograph, meeting format requirements

For more information about J visas, please see the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ exchange visitor visa website. For detailed information about how to make a visa interview appointment at an embassy or consulate, how to pay the application processing fee and more, go to the visa information on the U.S. embassy or consulate website where you will apply for your visa.

These types of work and positions are strictly forbidden:

  • Nanny, babysitter or any domestic job in someone else’s house
  • Use of personal funds to purchase inventory to sell items door-to-door
  • Positions that are substantially commission-based and thus do not guarantee federal prevailing minimum wage
  • Work as pedicab or rolling chair drivers or operators
  • Work as operators of vehicles or vessels that carry passengers for hire and/or for which commercial drivers’ licenses are required
  • Work in any position related to clinical care that involves patient contact
  • Employment in the adult entertainment industry
  • Work in any position that could bring notoriety or disrepute to the Summer Work Travel program, AAG, or the U.S. Department of State

EMPLOYERS

Overview

Finding the right people to staff your busiest seasons can be a challenge. Luckily, we have a great solution. Our program participants are ready and more than willing to make a difference on your team. International university students want what you have to offer – a chance to experience working and living in the U.S. Perfecting their English, honing their skills and learning about American business practices and culture is the education and experience they seek. These students are invested, educated and dependable, and will bring a global perspective to enhance your local business or international brand.

It’s a privilege to represent the United States, participating as a host company. With the honor comes the responsibility to provide not only a great work or learning opportunity, but exposure to American culture and customs. AAG assists employers with programs and ideas to make the experience memorable for everyone.

Summer Work Travel

This program is a unique opportunity to find the people, skills, enthusiasm and international flair for your team and customers. You’ll soon discover the other life-enriching benefits when people from around the globe become closer in understanding. The ripple effect that the drops of insight can have on you and your business will be profound. International students will return home inspired and ready to share their experience with their counterparts.

We’ve made the focus of our work making more leaders out of exchange participants and involving more employers to become involved in this powerful program.

To learn more about this State Department endorsed program. Visit their website here: j1visa.state.gov/programs/summer-work-travel

Why Work With Us?

With over 27 years of experience in the international cultural exchange sector, we understand that navigating the frequently changing visa rules and regulations can be time consuming and detract you from your business. Alliance Abroad Group acts as an extension of your team. We do it all–recruit, place, train, and provide support. We hand-pick participants from our world-wide network of partners from over 40 countries to ensure you get the most qualified and diverse set of candidates who meet the requirements of the program and the positions you need.

“One of my favorite things about my job is the fact that we utilize the J-1 visa program because I get to see different cultures come together and it is such a beautiful thing. I just overheard a conversation between a Ukrainian student and a student from Thailand talking in English about school, their families, their pets, and their cultures. It’s a great reminder that people and life are the same no matter where you are from and that compassion for others is very much alive in today’s youth.”


– Adrianne Newman (Host Company)

When you partner with us, you benefit from:

  • Customized recruitment solutions to ensure fulfillment of your seasonal staffing needs
  • Qualified participants that are available up to 4 months (depending on their universities dates)
  • A proven process for screening, recruitment and preparing participants
  • Health insurance coverage for participants
  • 24/7 support throughout the program term available by calling 1.866.6.ABROAD / 1 (866) 646-7887
  • Administration of all visa related paperwork
  • Immigration law and regulation updates
  • Participant pre-departure and in-country orientation
  • Housing Assistance
  • Cultural activity support
  • Potential for recruitment trip to interview students face-to-face and personally select employees (limited to employers with a large volume of positions)

Good To Know

The State Department J-1 Summer Work Travel Program is an exchange visitor program designed to achieve the educational objectives of international and cultural exchange by involving young adults in the daily life of the host country through temporary employment opportunities and to return home to share their experiences. The program also aims to encourage Americans to participate in the educational and cultural programs in other countries. Today’s global markets require international work experience, and the value added by working in the USA is immeasurable to students from overseas.

The following are prohibited placements: positions in the adult entertainment industry, sales positions that require participant to purchase inventory that they must sell in order to support themselves, domestic help positions in private homes (e.g. child care, elder care, gardener, chauffeur), pedicab or rolling chair drivers or operators, operators of vehicles or vessels that carry passengers for hire and/or for which commercial driver’s licenses are required and clinical care that involves patient contact. For the full list of prohibited placements, please see the “Program Exclusions” section on the Department of State website.

Students must be paid the same as the wage paid to U.S. workers in comparable positions. At a minimum, it must also be the higher of the State and Federal minimum wages.

J-1 Summer Work Travel Program participants pay all relevant federal, state and local taxes. J-1 Summer Work Travel Program participants are “EXEMPT” from Social Security (FICA), Medicare and Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA). AAG also works with a preferred tax service provider for all of our program participants, as they are generally able to get back nearly all of the taxes paid once they file their tax return.

AAG partners with our host employers to ensure that affordable and safe housing and that reasonable transportation is available for all of our placements. The safety and welfare of our students is of utmost importance. In cases where host employers do not provide housing or transportation, AAG will ensure participants are provided with approved housing leads to select from prior to their arrival to the U.S. The more attractive your offerings (free or subsidized meals, company-sponsored transportation and housing assistance), the more attractive you are as a potential employer.

No. AAG does not have the ability to grant visas, but we try to work closely with embassies in the countries from which we are recruiting to establish good relations. We monitor visa denial rates very closely and report any visa denials to our host employers as quickly as possible. We adjust our recruitment each year according to the visa success rate around the world.

Interviewing candidates in person is possible at AAG recruitment fairs depending on the size of your request of students. We also help arrange Skype interviews when needed or we can interview on your behalf.

J-1 Summer Work Travel participants will receive the federal minimum wage set by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). All of our Work Travel Program participants employed must be paid the equivalent of their American counterparts.

At a minimum, it must also be the higher of the State and Federal minimum wages.