With the J1 visa applications having opened on the 17th of November, students across many campuses in Ireland are signing up to spend a summer abroad next year.
Ireland had the fifth highest number of J1 visas with 10,000 students who travelled stateside last summer.
These figures are up by 20 per cent from last year with 8,000 students having completed their J1 in 2015.
According to State Department data, Ireland consistently receives the fifth highest number of J1 visas, just behind large countries like Germany and Brazil. Per capita, however, Ireland comes out on top by far.
“The numbers (for Ireland) are high and will continue to be high,” said Keri Lowry, the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for private exchanges.
Out of the 14 J1 programmes offered, the most popular is Summer Work Travel (SWT). The 2017 SWT programme costs on average around €499 to cover recruitment assistance, vetting employers, scheduling embassy interviews and processing all of the applicants paperwork. This doesn’t include flights, travel insurance or living costs stateside.
Changes were made to the J1 application last year where students now have to source a job before they can travel to the US. In the past students had a period of three weeks when arriving in America to find a job.
USIT recently held an information talk in DCU last Thursday in the Henry Grattan building outside Bank Of Ireland where they addressed some of the questions and concerns that students had about applying for the scheme.
Camp USA Promotion and Sales Executive at USIT Ireland, Samia Jalal, described how many applicants had been contacting them worried that the J1 scheme would be changed or put on hiatus now that Donald Trump has been elected as president.
“Trump isn’t actually in power yet and everything is already sorted for this summer. People are contacting us asking if things are effected but they’re not.”