A J-1 visa is a temporary exchange visa that provides foreign post-secondary students the opportunity to travel and work in the U.S. during their summer vacation through an approved program sponsor.
J-1 Visa Entitlements for Summer Work Travel
A J-1 visa entitles the holder to travel and engage in temporary work in the U.S. during their summer vacation. A J-1 visa for summer work travel is usually granted for a maximum of four months and students must return to their home country before the start of college/university.
Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age may apply for the applicable derivative visa (J-2 visa) to join their spouse or parent in the U.S. Accompanying spouses and children are entitled to study in the U.S. and may undertake employment with an approved employment authorization.
J-1 Visa Requirements for Summer Work Travel
In order to qualify for a J-1 visa for summer work and travel, the applicant must be currently enrolled in full-time, post-secondary education outside of the US and have proficient English language skills. Applicants must be sponsored by an approved sponsoring organization and may need to meet additional requirements as determined by their sponsor. Applicants from non-Visa Waiver Program countries are required to arrange their employment in the U.S. through their sponsor prior to entry. The typical kinds of work for J-1 visa applicants include, summer internships and non-skilled work including working in hotels, resorts, and restaurants.
J-1 visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.