The Graduate visa is a dream to those of us who are leaving, but not quite ready for the real world. Ciara Moran tell us why and how, we can make it our reality.
As the final few weeks of college rush in, many final year students are left staring into the abyss we call ‘life after graduation’. No longer will “I am a student” work as an excuse to be unemployed, or will your Tuesday nights end with the Eastenders theme song at Shite Night.
For those students not interested in continuing on immediately to do a Master’s degree, many take part in Graduate Programmes or decide to travel. But what if you could combine the two? If the idea of sticking around in Ireland working a 9am to 5pm job does not appeal to you, but you are afraid at the same time if you jet off you will find it harder to land a career in your chosen field, why not look into a 1 year-long Graduate Visa to the USA (while stocks last..).
The visa allows you to do an internship in the US related to your degree. It is great for people with itchy feet (it is a saying, trust me), wanting to get out there and see new places and experience new things, while at the same time gaining valuable work experience in an overseas company. You can apply for the visa within 12 months of graduating, meaning if you finish college in May 2017 but don’t graduate until November 2017, you have until November 2018 to enter the US with the visa, where you can stay for up to 12 months thereafter. In order to apply, you go through an issue company, for example, USIT, who sort out your visa. Although it is quite expensive, with USIT offering the visa from €3,160, this covers your one-way flight, Sevis fee, insurance, DS 2019 work documents and more.
As well as being able to travel for up to 30 days before or after your internship, the visa also allows you 90 days to find a position upon arrival, so you are not totally relying on countless emails and Skype interviews. However, securing a job beforehand will obviously relieve a lot of pressure, which is helpful given you are already faced with the task of looking for accommodation and settling into your new American life. Finances can also be a struggle. Upon entering the US you must show you have access to $1000 (€930) a month if your internship is unpaid.
However, the graduate visa is certainly an option worth considering for those of you who have not yet decided on life after graduation, as it also could be one of your last years of total freedom. Check out www.usavisa.ie for more information.