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Staffing Challenges for US Employers – the J-1 Option Visa for Snowsports, Hospitality and Other Industries

November 9, 2023 at 12:00 pm EST

Staffing Challenges for US Employers - the J-1 Option Visa for Snowsports, Hospitality and Other Industries

Thursday, November 9th

12:00 p.m.

Our upcoming webinar will provide a comprehensive overview of the exchange visitor program. We will discuss the various program categories, eligibility requirements, and the streamlined visa application process, making it a favorable choice when compared to traditional work visas. Moreover, we will highlight how organizations in a wide range of industries can optimize the use of these programs to address labor shortages, enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives, and strengthen their talent strategy.

During this webinar, you can expect to learn:

  • How the J-1 visa category differs from and offers a more accessible process than traditional work visas.
  • Detailed program category descriptions and eligibility requirements for Interns, Trainees, and Summer Work Travel participants.
  • How organizations, beyond the hospitality industry, can harness the potential of J-1 programs for their talent needs.
  • Strategies to address labor shortages and boost DE&I initiatives through the J-1 visa program.
  • Practical steps for organizations to get started and best practices for program success.
  • Industry-specific considerations and real-world examples of how the J-1 visa program has benefited various sectors.


Lindsay Bongi

Senior Specialist, Exchange Visitor (J-1 Visa) Program, SHRM

Ms. Bongi provides direction and support to the Department of State J-1 visa programs in the Intern and Trainee categories. Ms. Bongi has been involved with the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program for over ten years and has dedicated her time to assisting host companies, attorneys, and recruiters in the development and management of their J-1 programs. Ms. Bongi manages a portfolio of over 1,000 programs, supporting J-1 exchange visitors and upholding the government compliance requirements. Ms. Bongi spent the first part of her career working in financial planning & analysis for such companies as JPMorgan and America Online which allows her to bring a business mindset to international exchange, an industry that she is passionate about.

Rafael Espinoza

Founder & CEO, Universal Student Exchange

Rafael Espinoza is the CEO & Founder of U.S.E. Argentina – Chile and Peru (Universal Student Exchange), one of the world’s biggest Summer Work and Travel recruitment organizations with almost 3,500 participants being sent every year. U.S.E. also works with other programs such as Internship/Trainee and Working Holiday France.

Rafael began his entrepreneurship in 1996 when he launched Uniglobe, a Canadian Travel Agent franchise in Peru. As part of the travel agency, he started a Summer Work and Travel division (U.S.E.) in 1999 which split in 2000 to become a separate organization. In 2000, Rafael was also part of an IT startup (formerly: Certfica.com, now Comscore) with investors including Fundacion Chile and the IFC (World Bank) with offices located in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru. This gave him the possibility of initially managing the Peruvian and then later, the Chilean and Mexican offices. In 2002, Rafael decided to step aside from Certifica and open U.S.E.´s second office in Chile, followed by a third office in Argentina in 2005.

U.S.E has become the leading innovator Latin America in connecting and recruiting potential clients for its programs through the implementation of comprehensive international digital media strategies.

Headshot of Mohammad Ali Syed, principal attorney with the Employmeny Law Group Practice in Bethesda, MDMo Syed

mo.syed@offitkurman.com | 240.507.1784

Mohammad (Mo) Ali Syed is a principal attorney in Offit Kurman’s Immigration Law practice group. He has over 21 years of legal experience. His primary focus is on business and employment related permanent and temporary visa matters. He typically assists: (1) U.S. employers in getting visas to employ non-U.S. nationals in professional and non-professional positions; (2) non-U.S. businesses and individuals to secure visas to live and work in the U.S.; (3) multinational companies with intracompany transfers of employees and principals to their U.S. offices, existing and startups.


Offit Kurman, a full-service AmLaw 200 law firm with offices throughout the East Coast and in Southern California, serves dynamic businesses, individuals and families. Founded in 1987, the firm’s 280+ attorneys counsel clients across more than 30 areas of practice. Offit Kurman helps maximize and protect business value and personal wealth by providing innovative and entrepreneurial counsel that focuses on clients’ business objectives, interests and goals. The firm is distinguished by the quality, breadth and global reach of its legal services and a unique operational structure that encourages a culture of collaboration.


November 9, 2023
12:00 pm EST
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