Date Uploaded: 27/04/2016
Irish students planning on working in the USA this summer under the J-1 programme should set up visa appointment interviews in the US embassy as soon as possible.
This year is the first time students seeking to travel to the US on a J-1 work visa must provide evidence of a prearranged job before they travel following changes announced by the US embassy last November.
The requirement was said to be designed to ensure “greater safety and security of participants, greater compliance, and a more rewarding cultural experience”.
There is usually “a mad rush” for interviews at this time of year but that the embassy is attempting to get the students concerned in and out within an hour, US Embassy spokesman Mark Schneider told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
Despite the changes in the terms of the programme this year (students must have a job offer in advance), Mr Schneider said the level of interest in the scheme remains as high as it ever was.
Usit, the student travel body, has also reported “massive”numbers of queries from students seeking to travel to the US this year.
“Once students have been accepted and have the pre-placement requirement they go to the embassy for an interview,” he said.
“At the interview, they confirm that they are qualified to go on the programme, there are some general questions to confirm that they are students that they are planning on returning to college or a grad programme.”
Mr Schneider added: “The goal is to get in and out in an hour. We try to get them in and out as quickly as possible.”
Students should bring their passport, a visa application confirmation page, a DS2019 cert of eligibility and, if they were unable to upload a photograph, bring a photo 5cm x 5cm on a white background, he said.
The bulk of interviews will take place between the end April to end of May.
“That’s why we’re encouraging any students who found their own jobs through the pre placement programme go through the steps as quickly as possible,” Mr Schneider said.
Journalist: Vivienne Clarke