There’s bad news for Ireland’s students planning to visit the US. Changes are on the way to the structure of the J1 visa. It had been proposed by the US government that Irish students who planned on travelling to the US would need to have a job lined up before they went.
J1 visa holders will also only be able to work in a job that they have been sponsored to do by their employer, meaning they will only be allowed to have one job throughout their trip to the US. The new plan also states that students will have to work in “official locations of their designated sponsor” which may restrict travelling within the US country.
A statement from the US Embassy today stated:
“For the coming year, we are aware that some independent U.S. sponsoring agencies have announced the introduction of a global pre-placement policy for all J1 Summer Work and Travel (SWT) participants. These independent U.S. sponsoring agencies serve as authorities that vet and sponsor J1 participants worldwide and provide them with the documentation necessary to obtain a J1 visa from the U.S. State Department. The global pre-placement policy announced by these sponsoring agencies will require prospective Irish J1 participants to provide evidence of a pre-arranged job in the U.S. as part of their J1 applications, prior to their travel to the U.S.'”
“Local Irish SWT program sponsors are already advising students via their websites on these changes and the path to application and we encourage students to be proactive. Preplacement procedures for J1 SWT students are already in effect and enjoying success in nearly every country in the world. The preplacement requirement is designed to ensure greater safety and security of participants, greater compliance, and a more rewarding cultural experience in the United States.”
“The State Department, including the U.S. Embassy in Ireland, is fully committed to working with the Irish government; independent U.S. and Irish implementing institutions; and Irish young people and their parents to ensure that Irish students continue to have full opportunity to benefit from the J-1 SWT Program for many years to come,” it concluded.