J-1 visas derailed by COVID-stagnated tourism workforce

As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted J-1 visas for foreign workers, the Wisconsin Dells had only about 1,600 student workers this summer for the busy tourist season, compared to about 6,000 workers in previous years, according to a Wisconsin State Journal report. The workers from the program come to tourism hot spots across the state to make up for the shortage of local workers. Due to COVID-19 concerns and embassies closing, the J-1 visa program was stalled this year. The shortage of workers led to shortened service hours for hotels and restaurants.