PLEASE BE ADVISED: The 2018 J1 WORK & TRAVEL registration is now closed until further notice.
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J1 Summer Work & Travel Program
The US J1 Summer Work and Travel Program allows International college and university students the opportunity to work and experience the American culture for up to four months during their school break.
e-JAM works in conjunction with J1 US Sponsors in providing: guaranteed Job placements for qualified candidates; the DS-2019 Form needed to apply for the J1 Visa; medical insurance for four months; assistance with housing and on-going support throughout the program.
Who is eligible for the program?
Students who are:
• Currently enrolled on a full-time basis in a college or university
• Between the ages of 18 and 28
• Registered for a full time course following the Work & Travel program
• Able to speak and understand conversational English
• Willing to work hard and perform the duties and tasks outlined in your job description.
• Able to stay in the United States through the duration of the program
The W/T program is a great opportunity to work and learn about another culture, and an opportunity to meet other international students. e-JAM is very selective in who they put forward for the Summer Work and Travel Program, we are seeking students who will be Ambassadors for Jamaica and make us proud.
A new U.S. law authorises immigration authorities to collect social media information from persons entering the United States. Under a new Federal rule, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is authorized to collect social media data from all international travelers, immigrants and naturalised U.S. Citizens entering the U.S.
This new policy was anticipated after a DHS document published on the 18th of September stating that government will broaden its collection of online data beginning in the month of October. The DHS document states that the government will "expand the categories of records" collected "to include social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results" and will "update record source categories to include publicly available information obtained from the internet and information obtained and disclosed pursuant to information sharing agreements."
This ties in with legislation signed earlier in the year approving a new questionnaire for U.S. Visa applicants. A part of the Trump Administration’s “extreme vetting” policies and approved the 23rd of May by the Office of Management and Budget, this is said to help bolster national security and assist in confirming identities and help to conduct more rigorous national security vetting of immigrants. This includes requesting unlock codes from travelers, searches of laptops, phones or other electronic devices, and demands for social media handles and aliases such as Facebook, etc to view media posts and other information. The questionnaire asks for social media handles dating back over the last five years and biographical information dating back 15 years.
It’s important to stay abreast of all the current events and laws taking place in this fast paced global economy.
Taking all this into consideration will this change the way you communicate on Social Media if you are interested in traveling or working in the U.S.?
Read more on the Presidential Proclamation on Visas
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- Category: Commentary
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Last week’s blogpost addressed the ‘Power of Preparation’, starting off the August Advice programme. This week, the issue of social barriers is our topic of discussion, and will give you five simple yet effective tips to address and overcome your past, and open opportunities for your future in the workplace.
Before introducing the five tips, it must be said that there is a spectrum of social barriers that can prevent the most qualified candidate from earning a position. The spectrum ranges from barriers such as age, housing issues and workplace skills to more complex barriers such as criminal record, disability, mental health issues or a disadvantaged background. Each of these barriers are personal to each individual, but can all be overcome eventually.
1. Address and accept your past - This does not mean you need to spend a long time reflecting on your unique barriers, it can be a much quicker process. A mental recognition that you need to make some changes in your life to stop barriers from affecting your employability is enough.
2. Use social media to your advantage - Did you know employers check social media profiles and use it as part of their screening process?! Now that you know this, scroll down your social media profiles and screen it for yourself, or better, ask a friend or relative to do so. If you think your accounts are acceptable for an employer, now move onto creating an employable profile. On Twitter, retweet and engage in current affairs to show your interests. On Facebook, engage with profiles and companies that you’re interested in – professionally of course. Also, update your e-Jam profile using our How to Manage Your Profile Video for help. Keep up to date with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook whilst you’re there!
3. Use e-Jam’s support services during our Assisted Registration process. This one is simple, just sign up online today and we can advise and guide you through this process!
4. Come up with long and short-term goals – here advice from last week: The Power of Preparation is key. How, in 3 months will you have increased your employability, regardless of your past? Will you have attended rehabilitation programmes (if necessary)? Screened your social media profiles? Attend local English language classes? Create a list of things you would like to achieve in the next 90 days to overcome your barrier.
5. Be honest with employers – sometimes employers don’t completely understand how a barrier is preventing you from getting a job in the current market. Honesty however, is something that is understood and valued by employers. Be professional, and demonstrate to your employer ways that you can minimize the barrier(s).
Remember that every Jobseeker has a unique barrier that they feel is holding them back. By following the five steps above, you can limit the impact of these barriers in your search for employment. Don’t let your past compromise the potential of your future!
Good Luck and see you next week.
By Naomi Owolabi,
- Category: Commentary
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The H-2B visa non-immigrant program enables U.S. employers to hire foreign workers, including us Jamaicans, for hospitality, construction and other similar professions for a maximum of three years.
For many Employers in certain U.S. states, seasonal work shortages have been a serious issue for a number of years. They have difficulty finding seasonal American workers and instead use H-2B workers to supplement their staff shortages.
Any Agency in Jamaica, can tell you that the majority of the enquiries received are from applicants wanting to go to the U.S. on the H-2B Program, e-JAM is no exception. e-JAM is licensed to place workers overseas and believe that a ‘global resume’ and experiences through the H-2B Program create the perfect opportunity for our Jobseekers.
Since 2009, the H-2B Program has improved tremendously, long after the Bush administration established the program. The H-2B Program is usable and efficient in providing protection for Jamaican and other foreign workers. Gone are the days when Jamaicans hoping to earn more in working overseas ended up paying a large portion of their foreign earnings in recruitment costs and travel expenses. Some workers even suffer abuse and discrimination from brokers (middlemen) hired by the employers to provide foreign workers.
The costs to go on the H-2B Program
The greatest upside to the improvement is that now the program is absolutely FREE for workers. Yes, you read that right….FREE! Due to the updated regulations of the U.S. Government, the Employer now pays all fees. Workers are however responsible for their housing costs and smaller expenses. But a huge advantage is that H-2B workers are all paid the same as American Workers for doing the same work.
Employers are responsible for the following fees:
- The workers return travel
- US Embassy Visa Voucher
- The Local Agency Processing Fee
This essentially alleviates the pressure from Jobseekers such as yourself!
The honest challenges of the H-2B Program:
Although the program opens the door for many Jamaicans who could not have afforded the fees in the past, unfortunately, the demand for the H-2B program is very high and often times the jobs are scarce.
U.S. employers also face many challenges in hiring foreign workers. Apart from the expense of the program, the whole process has gotten more difficult. Housing for workers tends to be the biggest hurdles for employers in certain geographic areas. One may wonder why they bother with hiring foreign workers, but the reality is they simply don’t have enough Americans in their area to do the work and would not be able to operate their business without foreign workers.
The program has a limit of 66,000 H-2B visas permitted annually by law. Sometimes e-JAM receives H-2B job offers that end up being cancelled due to the annual cap being reached; which prevents Employers from hiring available workers. Once the cap is reached we are only able to place H-2B workers already in the United States and seeking to extend their work visa.
Jamaican workers going on the U.S. H-2B program should be confident that their stay and work experience will be much more rewarding since the new H-2B ruling. Whilst the Program still needs some improvement, the U.S. Government is making an effort to ensure that H-2B workers and their employers operate according to legal standards. H-2B workers do have rights and can get help; they are protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the immigration laws.
Register for H-2B with e-JAM, it’s easy!
e-JAM has provided many U.S Employers with qualified H-2B workers over the past twelve years. We are always seeking individuals with winning personalities and can do attitudes, but most importantly, individuals who will be Ambassadors for Jamaica. Persons who are interested in applying for the H-2B program through e-JAM MUST register online and submit a professional resume.
Please note: Registering with e-JAM does not guarantee a job offer. Positions go very quickly and applicants are pre-selected based on the requirements of the U.S. Employer, who makes the final hiring decision. So.....be sure to prepare for the application process and apply as soon as you can.
To get registered, or for more information about the H-2B Program, please visit us online and check our FAQ page for hot topic answers.
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Our very own athletes Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce didn’t spontaneously decide to defend their titles as 100m sprint champions during the 2012 Olympics.
Clearly, they had to prepare themselves, both physically and mentally to win their races. In the same manner as Fraser-Pryce and Bolt, preparing for a job in will increase your chances of securing the position you want, effectively winning the race!
Long-term preparation can be started anytime and should be a continuous process. Firstly, you need to mentally prepare yourself for the impending applications that you will embark on, just like all athletes do before preparing for a race, jump or throw. Despite the process proving repetitive, think of your end goal -- securing that job you want! You need to be able to complete an application for a job, so right now, watch this video about e-JAM's registration process, so you know exactly what to expect when you choose us as your agency, and hopefully you’ll feel more confident and mentally ready.
Next, you need to update your resume and cover letter, making sure that your personality and employability truly shines through. Too often, we quickly pull together a messy resume and vital information can be forgotten. Undoubtedly, when applying for a job, you face the hurdle of competitors, who may have different qualifications, abilities or personality traits, but don’t let this worry you. Make a list of all your old job history and volunteering experience, no matter how long or short you held the position, any example is useful and there will be one that helps you stand out. Keep this list in a visible place, so when you find a position you would like to apply for, you have easy access to all your experiences and job history. Through our Assisted Registration process, you can be professionally guided through this process so why not sign up today!
Etiquette is the final step in long-term preparation, and it is something that can prevent even the most qualified applicants from gaining a job. Can you confidently write formal letters and emails? Do you know how to dress for specific job types? Are you up-to-date on newer workplace jargon? Whilst it seems complicated, etiquette simply means politeness, and is valued in the workplace. An employer in the hospitality industry would appreciate a polite jobseeker, as he or she will be most likely interacting with the public. Long before even applying, make sure you have groomed yourself, both in your clothing and mannerisms. Ensure you have some clean, formal attire and practice speaking slowly and eloquently to a family member or friend when you can. By slowly incorporating more polite practices into your lifestyle, workplace etiquette will naturally develop, helping not only in your registration and application process with us, but also future jobs and interviews.
Preparing in the short-term must be more focused and suited to the job you are interested in. This should be simple, if you’ve taken the necessary steps listed above. For example, if you see a posting for a job on our e-JAM Twitter Page that you are interested in and decide to apply, you would hope for a quick turnaround and job offer. For this sort of outcome, you need to show a genuine interest in the specific job you are applying or being interviewed for. Take 30 minutes from your day to read up about the industry or company you want to join, taking notes so that you know some facts or the general aura of the business. There are more specific interview-based tips on our blog, such as this article on The Questions You Should Ask Your Interviewer.
At times as a jobseeker, it can feel like you are running an endless race, but with continuous long-term development and more spontaneous short-term preparation, you will discover the ways to run your final lap with style and sophistication and land your dream job.
Good luck and see you next time!
By Naomi Owolabi,