Businesses in New Jersey are hoping to save a foreign-worker program that boosts the state’s tourist industry each summer. The J-1 visa allows hundreds of foreign college students to work in New Jersey’s hotels, amusements parks, and boardwalk shops in a season when the demand for summer workers exhausts the supply.
According to the State Department, almost 6,000 foreign students worked in New Jersey’s tourist industry in 2012. Another 710 worked as camp counselors, and 728 worked as interns at New Jersey-based business.
J-1 Visa Abuses
Increasing scrutiny of the J-1 visa program came after employer abuses were discovered, including a Pennsylvania temp agency that did not pay overtime to hundreds of students and paid them a sub-minimum wage. Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, told the Press of Atlantic City that new federal rules are designed to protect foreign students from inappropriate work, and employers are supposed to expose visiting students to American culture and society. “There’s too little oversight,” Vaughan said. “The abuses are rampant.”
Congress has included the J-1 visa program in the larger debate over immigration reform. Proposed changes in the J-1 visa program would impose stricter controls, higher fees, and potential fines for sponsors who are not in compliance with J-1 regulations. However, businesses in New Jersey point to the many students who return to work the following summer as confirmation of the J-1 program’s success.
If you are an international student with any questions or concerns regarding your J-1 visa or status, it is wise to speak to a skilled Columbus immigration attorney as soon as possible.
If you employ foreign students, a good immigration lawyer can answer your legal questions, address your concerns, and help you with any immigration-related legal issues. With stricter enforcement of visa regulations and heightened scrutiny of J-1 visa petitions, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced immigration attorney and get the legal help you need in order to be in compliance with the law.
Sam Shihab & Associates Can Help
If you are an immigrant with any questions or concerns regarding your immigration case, LPR status, visas, green card applications, or any other legal matter, speak at once to an experienced Columbus immigration attorney. A good immigration lawyer can help you and your family with any immigration issue you face and defend you if you’re accused of violating immigration law.
Our immigration attorneys will review your forms and applications for thoroughness and accuracy. Immigration laws will continually change, but an experienced immigration attorney will always be able to give you the most up-to-date immigration advice you need.
Contact us today!