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Prohibited J1 Jobs & Areas

The following positions are not allowed on the J1 Work & Travel USA program:

  • 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 regardless of whether they carry passengers or not; including golf carts and company vans;
  • In positions related to clinical care that involve 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 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.;
  • 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 (including henna), massage, manicure, hair braiding

  • 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 travelling fairs or itinerant concessionaires;
  • In positions for which there is another specific J visa category (e.g., camp counselor, intern, trainee)

  • 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);
  • Positions that employ the exchange visitor as a mover or in any position where the primary work duty is the movement of household or office goods;
  • Positions through employment or staffing agencies;
  • Positions in kiosks or cart stands at malls;
  • Positions in home based businesses;
  • Positions in warehouses or factories;
  • Positions as an independent contractor (1099 Form employee);
  • Positions in fisheries;
  • Positions in door-to-door sales or canvassing;
  • 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);
  • Positions at single-guard pools;
  • Positions that involve the use of deli slicers;
  • Positions that are not compensated hourly e.g. piece wages, stipends, etc.;
  • Positions as an independent contractor/hired on a 1099 form;
  • ​With employers who hire J-1 students for 3 seasons (spring, summer, winter)​
  • Positions in waste management, janitorial, or custodial positions; 
  • Locations where telephone and Internet communication is not accessible.
  • Irish bars & restaurants - Only Irish bars and restaurants in city centre & high touristic locations maybe approved e.g. NYC, Boston, Chicago. Please email j1visa@sayit.ie with any query you have.
  •  The following employers
    • Hands On Labor
    • Unlimited Bikes
    • YMCA
    • Tour Central Park Inc. (www.bikerent.ync)
    •  Pier 66 Maritime
    •  Dickey's Barbecue Pit, San Diego
    •  Reunion by Chef Art Smith, Chicago 
    •  Lakeshore Sport and Fitness at Maggie Daley Park, Chicago 
    •  Life Time Fitness, Chicago 
    •  16 Handles, Brooklyn 
    •  Catering by Michaels
    •  Stone Street Tavern ltd (added March 2023)
    •  Arimaw Productions (added March 2023)
    •  Dee's Concessions (added March 2023)
    •  Watermark Concessions (Added March 2023)
    •  Nikolas Pizza (Added March 2023)
    •  Annie’s Hot Dogs (added April 2023)
    •  Dorrians Red Hand (added April 2023)
    •  Earl's Restaurant Somerville, Massachusetts (added May 2023)
    •  Twisted Spoke, Chicago (added May 2023)
    •  Cream, Bearkley (added May 2023)
    •  Primark (added May 2023)
    •  Kite Loft, Ocean City, MD (added Sept 2023)
    •  San Diego Zoo, CA (added Nov 2023)
    •  San Diego, CA, Sea World (added Feb 24)
    •  Yacht Rental LLC - chicagopartyyacht.com (added Jun 24)
  • A comprehensive list of restricted employment can be found here

Important Notes About 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.

Seasonality is described in J Summer Work and Travel regulations, 62.32 (b), as: “Employment is of a seasonal nature when the required service is tied to a certain time of the year by an event or pattern and requires labor levels above and beyond existing worker levels.”

The US Sponsor vets heavily on basis of seasonality and may require host employers to provide supporting docs, such as a revenue report or seasonality declaration.

  • Must not displace American workers.
  • Must allow students to interact frequently with U.S citizens and immerse themselves in American culture.
  • Must have access to affordable housing and convenient transportation.


  • Participants staying in Portsmouth, Kittery,Port Aransas, the Outer Banks, Wisconsin Dells,Jackson WY,and most of coastal Maine must have employer provided housing or guaranteed pre-arranged housing.
  • Housing in Rehoboth Beach, DE and Ocean City, MD becomes almost impossible to find after the 2nd week of June.
  • Students in Cape Cod need to have at least temporary housing arranged prior to arrival.

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