Summer work travel programs have given a wonderful opportunity to thousands of college students to visit the United States and experience the American culture firsthand. It is one of the best ways to discover the country and go back home with some great memories. Also, at the end of the program, participants will have the added benefit of an international work experience. With a J-1 visa, applicants can travel and take up temporary work in the U.S. during their summer vacation.
To qualify for summer work and travel programs, participants must be at least 18 years old and students of a college or university, or they must be studying on a degree or diploma course of at least 2 years’ duration; they should also be reasonably proficient in the English language. Applicants must be sponsored by approved sponsoring organizations and meet the eligibility requirements of their sponsor. J-1 visas for summer work and travel are issued for a maximum period of four months and extensions are not permitted; applicants must return to their home country before their four months are up. Typically, summer work programs include summer internships and working in hotels and restaurants. Applicants are also required to meet some health requirements and a comprehensive health insurance plan is a must, covering the entire duration of their stay in the U.S.
International students are welcome to apply, though the U.S. government has recently enhanced some safeguards for the participants for stronger protection. Welcome letters and program brochures are provided to program participants to inform them about what to expect from the summer work travel program. There are some restrictions on applications from some nationalities that require prior approval. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years may accompany their spouses or parents on a J2 visa and they can study or work in the U.S. with an approved employment authorization.