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Summer Work/Travel Program

Understanding Jobs in the United States

Job placements must be seasonal or temporary and must provide opportunities for you to interact regularly with U.S. citizens and experience U.S. culture during the work portion (i.e., not travel portion) of your program. It is important to keep this, and some key rules in mind when seeking new employment in the United States.

Below, please tips on how to seek employment, information on appropriate jobs, and rules and requirements about the jobs you can work at.

Tips on How to Seek Employment

Finding a job in the USA can be very challenging.  Here are some tips to make it easier.

  1. Start your search NOW.  The easiest way to start is to browse the internet to find employers that you are interested in working for.  Some helpful websites are:

    1. – awesome resource. Check here first!








    9. Websites of local newspapers in your preferred work location

    10. The websites for specific companies that you want to work for.

  2. When you find a job that you are interested it, try to apply ONLINE.

  3. If you cannot apply online, or if you need to apply in person, go right away. 

  4. Take a walk through town and stop in stores, shops, and restaurants, etc.

  5. When you apply for one job, do not sit and wait for them to get back to you.  You should apply for several jobs and call every couple of days to see if they have reviewed your application.

  6. Ask friends that already have jobs if there are any more jobs available where they are working.  Sometimes company’s only advertise job openings internally, if you know someone that can give you a reference, it can help you get a job.

  7. Buy the local paper.  Local newspapers are good sources for local jobs.  Call or visit the employer’s location and ask to talk to someone in the Human Resources Department.

When you are looking for a job, please consider the below job categories:

  • Waiters and waitresses

  • Housekeepers

  • Ride operators at theme parks

  • Cashiers and store clerks

  • Ski and beach resort positions

  • National Parks (like Grand Canyon and Isle Royale National Park)

Seasonal Job Information

You can do a number of jobs, but they must be seasonal in nature. Here’s how the Department of State defines “seasonal”:
Jobs that require minimal training and are seasonal or temporary …
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.
Employment is of a temporary nature when an employer's need for the duties to be performed is a one-time occurrence, a peak load need, or an intermittent need. It is the nature of employers' needs, not the nature of the duties that is controlling.


Prohibited Jobs

Before you start searching for a job, it’s important to understand the jobs that GeoVisions cannot approve. Below, please find the list of jobs that are PROHIBITED (not allowed) on the Summer Work/Travel 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;

  • In positions related to clinical care that involves 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 pm and 6:00 am;

  • 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, massage, manicure);

  • 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 traveling fairs or itinerant concessionaires;

  • In jobs that do not allow participants to work alongside U.S. citizens and interact regularly with U.S. citizens and to experience U.S. culture during the workday portion of their Summer Work Travel programs;

  • With employers that fill non-seasonal or non-temporary job openings with exchange visitors with staggered vacation schedules;

  • In positions that require licensing;

  • In positions for which there is another specific J visa category (e.g., Camp Counselor, Trainee, Intern);

  • In positions with staffing agencies,  unless the placements meet the following three criteria:

    • Participants must be employees of and paid by the staffing agencies

    • Staffing agencies must provide full-time, primary, on-site supervision of the participants

    • Staffing agencies must effectively control the work sites, e.g., have hands-on management responsibility for the participants

  • 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

  • In positions where you will displace domestic U.S. workers

  • In positions where the host employer has experienced layoffs in the past 120 days and do not have workers on lockout or on strike

2016 Banned Locations and Jobs

Banned Locations:
GeoVisions no longer sponsors J-1 visa work and travel self-placed participants in the following locations:

  1. The Florida Panhandle (Pensacola, Destin, Panama City)

  2. Gulf Shores, Alabama

  3. Pennsylvania (unless clear seasonality is able to be demonstrated)

  4. Rural Maryland

  5. North Dakota

  6. Hawaii (mainly due to distance to this location from GeoVisions)

Locations of Concern:
GeoVisions may sponsor J-1 visa work and travel self-placed participants in the following locations if proof of seasonality and secure and affordable housing is confirmed with the job offer:

  1. New York City and other large cities e.g. Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami

  2. Old Orchard Beach, ME and Kittery, ME

  3. Myrtle Beach, SC

  4. Lake George, NY

  5. California

  6. Park City, UT

  7. Cape May, NJ

  8. Jackson Hole, WY

  9. Southampton, NY

Positions which will not be approved:

  1. Bouncers

  2. Janitor (heavy cleaning)

  3. Housekeeping or room attendant positions in private rental homes/condos in rental areas that would not allow interaction with the public

  4. Positions which are via unauthorized third parties; check with GeoVisions prior to submitting job offers for these positions.

  5. Positions in shops which offer henna tattoos.

  6. Positions in shops which sell drug paraphernalia.

  7. Alaska fishery jobs

  8. Moving company jobs or any other job which would require students to lift more than 25 pounds.

  9. Positions in hair salons.

  10. Positions in smoke shops.

Driving on the Job

You are not allowed to work at a job where a driver’s license is required, and you cannot be expected to operate a vehicle of any kind on the job. Jobs like valet parking, delivery, or pedicab driving are not allowed

Understanding Jobs in the United States - 2014 Page |

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