Irish students will be able to travel to the United States on J1 visas this summer after two years of cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The US State Department has confirmed the return of the J-1 Visitor Exchange Program, with a spokesperson telling The Times last week, “Sponsors will soon be accepting applications for this very popular program.”
The U.S. Embassy in Ireland advises that before you can apply for a J-1 visa, you must first apply for and be accepted into a visitor exchange program through a designated sponsoring organization. . The US State Department’s J-1 Visa Exchange Program website provides a list of sponsors and their partner Irish agencies.
According to the US Embassy in Ireland, the partner agencies that recruit most J-1 participants from Ireland are SAYIT, J1 Ireland, Work and Travel, Camp Leaders, USA Summer Camp, USA Summer Jobs, World Wide Cultural Exchange and USIT. .
A spokesperson for the Irish Foreign Office welcomed the return of the J1 scheme, saying the department is keen to restore the scheme to pre-pandemic levels.
“The J1 is a valuable part of the construction exchanges between the United States and Ireland, and something we want to see return to pre-pandemic levels.
“Through J1, thousands of young people have had the opportunity to work and travel in the United States, building valuable connections between the two countries,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
The Dublin-based agency USIT launched its 2022 program two months early to meet pent-up demand after two lost summers that saw around 15,000 students miss out on the chance to work in the United States. Its “Take Back Your Summer” campaign, announced on February 2, will focus on the J1 visa program.
The agency will host a J1 information conference later in the month as well as virtual J1 job fairs.
USIT CMO Lisa Collender said a significant number of students have already enrolled in the J1 2022 program.
“We are encouraged by the number of students across the country who have already enrolled in the USIT J1 Work & Travel 2022 program,” Collender said.
“Our mission for J1 this year is to help 3rd level college students spend a summer working and traveling in the United States. The J1 program has long been a milestone in the lives of many young people, where they not only experience personal growth, but also contribute positively to the vital cultural bond between our two nations.
“We know from speaking with US employers that they are eager to see Irish students return and therefore recommend anyone wishing to attend J1 this year to book early to secure jobs in top destinations.”