J-1 Summer Job Requirements

Is a job offer required before travel to the US on the program?

ll program participants must have a summer job offer approved by their program sponsor before they can apply for US Embassy interview and travel to the US.

What kind of jobs are allowed?

Full details of allowed jobs are available in the terms and conditions. The job must provide a minimum of 32 hours a week, meet US state minimum wage requirements and be seasonal entry level positions. Seasonal means that the employer hires extra staff during the summer due to the seasonal nature of the work and is not displacing American citizens from hire. Typical J-1 Summer jobs are related to hospitality, tourism and retail and are in tourist/resort areas. It is at the discretion of the sponsor to decide whether a job offer meets the requirements of the program.

Can I change my summer job while in the USA?

If a participant wishes to leave their employer, they must contact the US Sponsor to explain why they want to change jobs and seek approval. If approval is granted, they must work a minimum notice period of 2 weeks before finishing with their current employer.

Can I have more than one job?

Yes. You can have as many as you like provided they all meet the programme requirements and have been approved by the US Sponsor.

How much can I earn?

It’s up to you how much money you can earn. The more hours you work and the more jobs you have will determine whether you’ll be able to pay off that student loan on your return!! However, participants working for ‘salary only’ must be paid at least the federal minimum wage. Participants working for ‘salary plus tips’ will receive a lower basic wage.

How do I apply for a Social Security Card?

All first time applicants of the Summer J1 programme must apply for a Social Security card. Only if you have obtained a Social Security Number in the past, through a previous US visa are you exempt from this requirement. In this case you can use the same card / number again.

If you have not applied before you will need to locate your nearest Social Security office. Try to avoid applying between the peak hours, we recommend you go early in the morning to avoid the long queues. You will need to bring to the office:

  • Your “Dear Social Security Officer” Letter
  • DS 2019
  • Your passport with your J-1 Visa stapled inside.

Always ask for a receipt of application from the Social Security Officer. This will assist you to prove to potential US Employers you have applied for your SSN.

Please note that once you have applied for your Social Security card, it is legal to be paid by your US Employer. Please download the US Sponsor legal opinion letter and give it to your employer if they have any questions.

If you have lost your Social Security card then please visit www.ssa.gov for instructions on how to obtain a replacement card.