The presidential administration is considering eliminating the J-1 Summer Work-Travel Program for students who come to tourist areas in the United States as temporary summer help and as participants in cultural exchanges. According to the State Department, the program provides opportunities for around 300,000 foreign visitors from 200 countries and territories per year to participate.
Typically, someone who qualifies for the J-1 Program must meet certain specifications. For example, they must be capable English speakers, who are enrolled and are in the process of aquiring a degree or is studying full-time, has one semester minimum or has comparable post-secondary study, and be pre-placed in a job prior to entry (unless they’re from a visa waiver country).
If the J-1 Program is eliminated, it would mainly affect the hospitality industry in the areas that rely on these students to wait tables, cook, and run amusement park rides in tourist areas during the summer.
Among those affected, Morey’s Pier Amusement Park in Wildwood, New Jersey, would be one of the hardest hit. In 2017, the park hired more than 1/3 of its workforce through the J-1 Program. Its Director of Human Resources says it makes extensive efforts to hire U.S. workers but can’t find enough people interested in seasonal work to fill the gap. Likewise, other tourist areas such as Hershey, Pennsylvania, and the Poconos also depend on the work program.
If you think you might be affected by this development, talk to one of our skilled Cleveland immigration lawyers. Sintsirmas& Mueller Co. L.P.A. is a firm that has first-hand knowledge of the immigration process and more than 50 years of combined legal experience to offer your case. Let us take a look at your situation and offer you sound legal advice regarding your best course of action.
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