Ireland and US agree to extend J1 visa programme for another three years

The year-long J1 visa programme which allows Irish graduates to work in the US has been extended for another three years.

The reciprocal “Intern Work and Travel Pilot” arrangement between the US and Irish governments allows Irish citizens over the age of 18 who have recently finished second level or graduated from third level to live and work in any part of the US for up to 12 months.

However the bilateral agreement does not extend to the J1 summer programme, the four-month visa popular among Irish students.

Concerns for the future of the J1 programme arose in August 2015 after US president-elect Donald Trump said that the “the J1 visa jobs programme for foreign youth will be terminated and replaced with a résumé bank for inner city youth provided to all corporate subscribers to the J1 visa programme”.

However while it would be straightforward for Mr Trump to shut down the summer J1 visa programme, ending the 12-month programme would mean unpicking a bilateral arrangement.

In 2015, 1,319 Irish people availed of the 12-month J1 visa, and around 7,000 took part in the four-month J1 Summer Work Travel Programme.

About 300 Americans availed of the reciprocal arrangement and travelled to Ireland for a 12-month period of travel and work.



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