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J1 Work & Travel 2022
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Using Crisis and Challenges to Maximize Opportunities

Although crisis and challenges may not look like opportunities; sometimes they open doors to the opportunities that we are seeking. For instance, losing your job can be an opportunity on the horizon, allowing you to start your own business.

Once you stop focusing on your own thoughts and instead focus on helping others and contributing to society you would be amazed at how easily this can expand your capacity to recognize opportunities.  Dreams start materializing and you begin to discover other potential skills that you never knew you had.

Problems can result in opportunities, since they can help you to develop skills employers are looking, such as leadership and people skills.  (See list of Employability Skills below).

In todays’ world, it is not enough to be a good accountant, secretary, or manager; you need to have employability skills.  Take advantage of the opportunities you may have

now to develop such skills by getting involved and making a difference for yourself and your community.

There are an abundance of opportunities around us it’s just that we don’t recognize it.
Never run away from problems because they are usually a big breakthrough on the horizon.  By developing good character and integrity will help to recognize opportunities; doing good for others enhances skills and expertise.

What Do Employers Want?

Apart from the skills required to perform a particular job, employers are also looking for employability skills, also referred to as “soft skills”.  Listed below are skills and values employers are seeking from Jobseekers.

  • Communication – Listening, verbal/non-verbal, written etc.
  • Flexibility/Adaptability/Managing Multiple Priorities -  Someone who can multi-task, set priorities and adapt easily.
  • Interpersonal Abilities – Persons who can relate easily to co-workers and mitigate conflict.
  • Leadership/Management Skills – The ability to take charge and manage co-workers
  • Planning/Organizing – The ability to plan, organize and implement projects or tasks within a specific time frame.
  • Problem-Solving/Reasoning – The ability to find solutions to problems
  • Teamwork – The ability to work with others in a professional manner
  • Honesty/Integrity/Morality – This speaks for itself
  • Multicultural Sensitivity/Awareness – The world is changing therefore Jobseekers must demonstrate a sensitivity and awareness of other people and their cultures.

Employability skills and personal values are critical tools you will need to succeed in the workplace.



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Types of Jobs
Industries such as: Hotels/Resorts; Restaurants; Summer Camps; Amusement Parks; National and State Parks; Retail Stores/Shops; etc.

Types of Positions
Cashiers and Store Clerks, Housekeepers, Food and Beverage Servers, Camp Counsellors, Front Desk Agents, Cooks, Fast Food workers, Ride Operators for Theme Parks, General Maintenance, Life Guards, etc.

Salaries/Work Schedule
Salaries are usually dependent on the type of job and chosen location; it could range from $8 – 14.00 an hour.  The average working hours will be 35-40 hours.  Participants must be flexible and willing to work various shifts, including weekends and religious holidays.

Second Jobs
Under the J1 Work and Travel Guidelines, students are allowed to have a second job, which must first be approved by the J1 Sponsor, who will determine if the company meets the J1 Program requirements.  Accepting a second job without prior approval will result in immediate dismissal.  The first commitment should always be focused on the primary job.  It is always best to request as much overtime as possible rather than engage in a second job.

Students are responsible for all housing expenses, (i.e. rent, utilities, food, etc.). Most jobs are offered with pre-arranged housing; however, this is not mandatory by the employer. If there is no pre-arranged housing, the employers and/or sponsors will assist students in finding affordable housing.  Housing deposit will range from $200.00 - $300.00 and weekly rent from $100.00 - $125.00.  It is a requirement that students bring a minimum of US$1,500.00 to cover these upfront expenses, prior to their first pay check.  All housings are vetted and pre-approved by our J1 Sponsor.

Medical Insurance
Insurance is mandatory and included in your Program Fee.  Included is the basic insurance required by US Federal regulations and arranged and purchased based on recommendation from the program sponsor.  It covers the entire period stated on your DS-2019 form.  For extra coverage than basic insurance, students will have the option to upgrade from basic insurance coverage, or to have additional insurance taken out prior to leaving Jamaica.

Students are responsible for all travel expenses, airfare and ground transportation.  

SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)
This is the web-based system that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses to maintain information on all J1 Students in the United States. All participants on the Work and Travel Program are required to register their whereabouts electronically with the Depart of Homeland Security (DHS) through SEVIS.  If students fail to comply they will be terminated from the program.

Mandatory Proof of Funds
This is not a fee to be paid, or collected by e-JAM.  US Immigration Officers requires that all J-1 participants have at least US$1,500.00 spending money upon entering the USA.  The extra funds are to cover expenses prior to receiving your first paycheck and to have in case of emergency.  You will be required to provide proof; bank statement may not be acceptable as proof, so it is best to carry Travelers cheques, or cash.

Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation
All applicants will be required to attend a pre-departure orientation.



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Ocho Rios, Jamaica

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About e-JAM

e-JAM is an experienced employment agency located in Ocho Rios, Jamaica since 2005  We are licensed by the Ministry of Labour to recruit workers for local and overseas employment.


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