“All students applying for a visa under the J1 scheme will now be required to have a pre-arranged job vetted and approved prior to travelling in 2016.
“This is a significant change which is being introduced this year and I would advise students wishing to participate in this scheme to be proactive and begin the process of searching for work as early as possible. While the pre-arranged job requirement has been in place for students from other countries since 2012, this year it is being applied to all students on the J1 SWT programme, including those from visa waiver countries.
Continuing, Doherty said “The J1 SWT programme was first introduced in 1966 and approximately 150,000 Irish students have availed of the US visa programme since then. I understand that the aim of the pre-approved employment is to enhance the experience for students on the programme by removing the stress, uncertainty, and cost of securing employment and accommodation on arrival in the US.”
Concluding the Ratoath based TD said “many of our young people in Meath travel State-side every year on a J1 Visa. It is a fantastic experience for any young person to develop both personally and professionally and it is important that this opportunity to do so is not diminished by these changes. I am advised that the US government intends to work actively with J1 SWT applicants, Irish Government representatives and independent US and Irish implementing institutions, to ensure Irish students continue to benefit from the programme. The two largest independent US J1 sponsors, CIEE and InterExchange, offer a step-by-step guide to pre-placement and the application process at www.J12016.com and I would urge all prospective applicants to visit this site.
“The US Embassy in Dublin also has information on their website http://dublin.usembassy.gov/