J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa – Summer Student Travel/Work Program

1. J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa – Summer Student Travel / Work Program. 22 C.F.R. § 62.32 (a).

J-1 Summer Student Travel / Work Programs provide foreign post-secondary students the opportunity to work and travel in the United States for a four month period during their summer vacations.

Extensions of program participation are not permitted. Program participants also may not be employed as domestic employees in United States households or in positions that require the participant to invest his or her own money to provide themselves with inventory for the purpose of door-to-door sales.

2. Criteria for J-1 Summer Student Travel / Work Programs. 22 C.F.R. § 62.32 (b).

In order to participate in a J-1 Summer Student Travel / Work Exchange program, individuals must be:

  • Interviewed in-person by a J-1 Summer Student Travel / Work program sponsor; and
  • A bona fide post-secondary school student in his or her home country; and
  • Individuals who have previously participated in a J-1 summer work travel program may be limited from participating in another summer work travel program.

3. J-1 Summer Student Travel / Work Program Sponsor Employment Obligations. 22 C.F.R. § 62.32.

J-1 Summer Student Travel / Work Program Sponsors must provide program participants, prior to their departure from the home country, information regarding:

  • The name and location of their employer, if prior employment has been arranged; and
  • Any contractual obligations related to their acceptance of paid employment in the United States, if prior employment has been arranged.

If a program participant does not have pre-arranged employment, sponsors must:

  • Ensure that the participant has sufficient financial resources to support him or herself during his or her search for employment;
  • Provide the participant with pre-departure information that explains how to seek employment and how to secure lodging in the United States;
  • Prepare and provide to program participants a list of bona fide job listings; and
  • Undertake reasonable efforts to find suitable employment for any participant who has not found employment within one week of commencing his or her job search.

Program Sponsors must also advise participants regarding Federal Minimum Wage Requirements and ensure that participants receive pay and benefits commensurate with those offered to their American counterparts.

4. J-1 Summer Student Travel / Work Program Sponsor Monitoring Obligations.

22 C.F.R. § 62.32 (f).

Sponsors must monitor all J-1 Student Travel / Work Program participants and provide:

  • All participants with a telephone number which allows 24-hour immediate contact with the sponsor; and
  • Emergency assistance on an as-needed basis.