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US Jobs

Do I need a US Job Offer?

US Job Offers are not mandatory however we recommend all participants to actively seek a job prior to departure. Approximately 23% of J1er’s have a job arranged before they leave for the USA.  US Job Offers are now mandatory to any citizen from a Non-Visa Waiver country. Citizens from countries within the Visa Waiver program are listed below:

Andorra Australia Austria Belgium
Brunei Czech Republic Denmark Estonia
Finland France Germany Greece
Hungary Iceland Ireland Italy
Japan Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania
Luxembourg Monaco Netherlands New Zealand
Norway Portugal Malta San Marino
Singapore Slovakia Slovenia South Korea
Spain Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom


Can I work in any job that I find?

J1 students are entitled to be employed in most jobs within the US. The majority of J1 students end up finding employment in the tourism, sales or administration industry. There are, however, a number of industries that J1 students are prohibited from working in.

These include:

You may not work as:

1. In positions that could bring notoriety or disrepute to the Exchange Visitor Program (J1 Summer Work and Travel Visa);

2. In sales positions that require participants to purchase inventory that they must sell in order to support themselves;

3. In domestic help positions in private homes (e.g., child care, elder care, gardener, chauffeur);

4. As pedicab or rolling chair drivers or operators;

5. As operators or drivers of vehicles or vessels for which drivers’ licenses are required regardless of whether they carry passengers or not;

6. In positions related to clinical care that involve patient contact;

7. In any position in the adult entertainment industry (including, but not limited to jobs with escort services, adult book/video stores, and strip clubs);

8. In positions requiring work hours that fall predominantly between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.;

9. In positions declared hazardous to youth by the Secretary of Labor at Subpart E of 29 CFR part 570;

10. 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 (including henna), massage, manicure, hair braiding


11. 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;

12. In positions involved in gaming and gambling that include direct participation in wagering and/or betting;

13. In positions in chemical pest control, warehousing, catalogue/online order distribution centers;

14. In positions with travelling fairs or itinerant concessionaires;

15. In positions for which there is another specific J visa category (e.g., camp counselor, intern, trainee)


16 .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), including, but not limited to: construction (includes specialty trade contractors), mining (includes oil and gas extraction, support activities for mining), manufacturing (food manufacturing, textile mills, apparel manufacturing, wood product manufacturing, printing), natural resources (crop production, animal production, fishing, support activities for agriculture and forestry);

17. Positions through employment or staffing agencies;

18. Positions in kiosks or cart stands at malls;

19. Positions in home based businesses;

20. Positions in warehouses or factories;

21. Administrative positions handling sensitive/personal information;

22. Positions as an independent contractor (1099 Form employee);

23. Positions in fisheries;

24. Positions in door-to-door sales or canvassing;

25. Positions in industrial style/scale service sector (jobs that involve assembly lines, repetitive movement using heavy machinery, use of industrial size steamers/pressers and dryers, use of industrial chemicals, factory-like atmosphere);

26. Positions at single-guard pools;

27. Positions that involve the use of deli slicers;

28. Positions that are not compensated hourly e.g. piece wages, stipends, etc.

Important Notes About the J1 Summer Work and Travel in Large Cities

If a large city (e.g. Miami, New York or Los Angeles) is submitted as a potential place of employment, the following must be demonstrated:

  • The job is seasonal or temporary in nature.
  • The employer has reasonably attempted to hire locals for the season and the placement will not displace U.S. workers.
  • There is access to suitable, affordable, and safe housing.

You are also not allowed to work in any unpaid position nor work in any position that offers less than the state minimum wage. See HERE for listings on each state.

Different cities have different minimum wage rates. See HERE for the listings.

How can I find a job before going?

SAYIT will provide a jobs listing database in the J1 Lounge.

Can I change my job while in the USA?

Yes but the Program Regulations require participants to inform InterExchange by registering details of their new employment with SEVIS within 10 days of the change of employment. InterExchange will then 'Vett' the position and you can begin work when it is approved.

Can I have more than one job?

Yes. You can have as many jobs as you like. Each position must be vetted by InterExchange before you begin work.

How long do I have in the USA to locate a job?

You have 30 days from your DS2019 start date to locate a job in the USA.

Are there restricted area's where i can't travel to?

There are areas which been deemed unsuitable by the US Department of State.  The list is

  • Alabama Gulf Shores Region
  • Florida “Panhandle” area, which includes Apalachicola, DeFuniak Springs, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Marianna, Panama City, Panama City Beach, Pensacola, and Tallahassee
  • North Dakota
  • MD – Chester/Easton region
  • PA – Harrisburg/Hershey region

Can I travel to Tijuana?

All programme participants are not, under any circumstances, permitted to travel to the Tijuana metropolitan area in Mexico.

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