If you worked in any of these countries, you could be due a Tax Refund

J1 Visa: 10 Tips for getting a Job in the US

#TaxTipsUSA #TravelTipsUSA

Students from visa waiver countries must have a job secured before entering the US on a J1-here are some tips to help you find that job!

A J1 summer work and travel visa is all about living the American dream. You’ll get to explore the US, make new friends, and have a ball while getting a taste of life in America.

The US has ruled that prospective J1 participants from visa waiver countries must have a job arranged before they enter the US. You can find a list of visa waiver countries hereOnce you’ve applied for your visa, you should begin searching for seasonal work in the US. This is often a condition of entry, so start your search as early as possible! Your visa provider may help you secure a job before you go; you can put down your preferences but you may have to take the first job you’re offered. Otherwise, you can do a bit of searching and secure a job by yourself.

The average US tax back we get for J1 students is $800


Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Know what types of jobs you can and can’t do

There are certain types of jobs you can’t do and some locations where you’re not permitted work on a J1 visa, which are listed here. Any job you get must be seasonal, so you’re not taking the place of an American citizen. These types of jobs are usually in resorts, summer camps or some sort of hospitality or retail work.

Summer camp

Have you got good leadership qualities? Then you should look into the possibility of being a camp leader. You’ll get to work outdoors and be paid to play games with children at their summer camp. You’ll also be housed for free, get fed three times a day and have days off to go on day trips. This type of job is perfect for anyone who is really into sport and likes to work with children.

Theme parks

Theme parks like Ocean City in Maryland also hire a lot of seasonal workers to assist with the games, to sell tickets, as security, in retail areas, and with the general running of the park as their visitors peak during the summer. You’ll meet people from all over the world and many theme parks will house their staff or at least advise on local accommodation.

Similar roles include employment at vacation resorts at the front desk, in guest services or as wait staff on a luxury yacht or hotel.

2. Choose your location carefully

If you pick a place that attracts a high volume of tourists in the summer, there should be plenty of seasonal jobs available.

Think casinos in Nevada, large hotel chains in San Francisco, and holiday resorts in Florida. The choice is almost endless! However, there are certain areas where you’re not permitted to work.

If you leave it until the last minute to secure a job, then it may be hard to fend off the competition at some of the J1 ‘’hotspot’’ locations like New York and San Francisco.

Think about the kind of lifestyle you want also; want to be a go-getter in New York or chilling out in Cape Cod? The location you choose will inevitably affect the pace and style of work you do, so consider this carefully before you decide on a location.  

3. Talk to past J1 visa students

If you know someone who has completed a J1, they may have a contact for you to pre-arrange employment. Ask them about their experiences and what they liked or disliked about the role.

4. Update your CV

You’ll have to make your CV look more like a US résumé. The hiring manager will expect an American style résumé limited to one page with educational, work, and volunteer experience. Here is an example. 

5. Get references

If a previous employer can give you a shining reference, all the better! US employers love references.

6. Try searching online

If you don’t get a job through a visa provider, you may want to search for a job online on sites such as:


7. Retail jobs

A lot of the big retailers hire temporary seasonal workers. Major stores like Walmart, Target and Macy’s advertise seasonal jobs during the summer.

8. Personalise your application

When you apply for a job, don’t just send the same cover letter to all prospective employers, personalize it for each job.

The average US tax back we get for J1 students is $800


9. Dress to impress!

If you land an interview, make sure you dress appropriately and treat it as you would any other job interview. Interviews for seasonal jobs may seem more casual, but you should still take it seriously. Be friendly and show your enthusiasm by asking a few questions and wearing your smile!

10. Take the first job

It’s advisable to take the first job you can get!  If you don’t like it you can keep searching with the peace of mind that you have something to fall back on.

Once you get there, here are 10 things you can do for free in the US-happy sightseeing!

About The Author

Ciara Kennedy - Digital Content Writer @ Taxback.com

Ciara is our Digital Content Writer at Taxback.com. Since graduating in Journalism and Visual media, Ciara has worked in online marketing in Ireland and Australia and loves writing in all its forms.

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