To read this content please select one of the options below:

An examination of the insulation of global worker communities for political reasons: the case of the J-1 Visa in the United States

Jason Ryan (Jack H. Brown College of Public and Business Administration, California State University, San Bernardino, California, USA)
Sari Silvanto (Department of Management and Marketing, California State University Dominguez Hills, Carson, California, USA)

Journal of Global Mobility

ISSN: 2049-8799

Article publication date: 5 January 2023

Issue publication date: 14 March 2023




The insulation of globally mobile workers into communities is often influenced by political considerations within the host country. Most studies examining this area have focused on how expatriates and globally mobile workers seclude themselves into insulated communities when working abroad. This perspective does not take into consideration political and societal factors that often pressure globally mobile workers into secluded communities composed of people similar to themselves. This study examines how host-country political imperatives can help create and maintain insulated communities of foreign workers.


This study is based on a case study methodology that examines the J-1 Visa program in the United States and how it has, in many instances, evolved into a de facto guest worker program that secludes foreign workers into insulated communities. The case study includes interviews with five J-1 administrators at sponsoring organizations that employ J-1 recipients.


This study finds that political pressures do have an impact on the insulation of J-1 recipients into secluded communities in the United States. This is largely accomplished through the legal requirements of the program, pressure from sponsoring employers on the government and the significant political and economic ties that the United States maintains with the home countries of J-1 recipients.


This is one of the few studies to examine insulated communities of globally mobile workers from a political perspective. It is exploratory in nature and recommends that further studies be conducted.



Ryan, J. and Silvanto, S. (2023), "An examination of the insulation of global worker communities for political reasons: the case of the J-1 Visa in the United States", Journal of Global Mobility, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 62-74.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles