Students who are hoping to do a J1 this Summer are being urged to book early to ensure their place on the popular summer programme.
The US embassy in Dublin issued a statement warning J1 hopefuls to “be proactive and begin the application process as soon as possible.”
The J1 visa programme is an important summer work and travel opportunity for Irish students. Over the last 50 years, 160,000 Irish students have travelled to America with the programme to live and work.
However, last year the US embassy faced a backlog of J1 applications and are hoping to avoid this by encouraging to students to apply early to avoid disappointment and to secure their job. There will be a total of 7,000 places available to Irish students this year, the same number of visas issued in the summer of 2017.
The Embassy also praised the success of the global pre-placement policy which means that students have to secure a job prior to travelling. Previously, students often spent weeks in temporary accommodation looking for suitable jobs and places to live. However, the new rules ensure that students can start working as soon as they arrive.
Róisín Kenny, a student who availed of the J1 programme last year said that “It’s so important to apply early because you don’t want the stress of having to organise it during your summer exams. Also, talk to people who went to the city you’re going to the year before because they’ll tell you what companies to book with and where to live and get jobs.”
A spokesperson for USIT Ireland stressed the importance of booking your J1 early this year as it is more beneficial to the students. “Booking early will allow you attend the mandatory interview with the US Embassy early, and not be left having to attend your interview during your end of year exams.”
The J1 programme is offered to full-time third level students and there are a number of designated visa sponsorship companies who are on hand to guide students through the whole process.
Image Credit: Shauna Bowers