J-1 Work Travel Visa

Rachel Cohen / Boise State Public Radio

The J-1 visa program was intended to promote international understanding, hosting international workers for positions like camp counselors and au pairs. Hospitality workers make up a large percentage of visa holders, and Idaho's tourism industry relies on these folks for seasonal work. Our Twin Falls reporter Rachel Cohen fills in Idaho Matters on the work-travel visa program that's "essential" to Idaho tourism. 

Rachel Cohen/Boise State Public Radio

On a Saturday afternoon in December, Mariana Santini opened her locker in the basement of the Limelight Hotel in Ketchum. It was her first week of work as a food runner. She greeted co-workers in Spanish, and then went upstairs to the lobby to begin her shift.