Changes to j1 application are “good news” for students

 Job pre-placement is good news for the approximately 7,000 students that travel to the USA on the J-1 work and travel visa programme.

We have thousands of qualifying employers lined up with thousands of approved jobs and this takes the uncertainty away for students of having to worry about sourcing a job on arrival.

The reaction from students has been positive and they are already registering and getting on with the new process.
They now will arrive from their flight straight in to a job and start earning money  – a situation very much welcomed by parents as they won’t have to fund their student while finding a job. 
It also gives the students more time in advance to source accommodation either by themselves or by interacting with their confirmed employer.
As previously, students are free to move jobs after getting approval from our sponsor so are not locked in to one job.
Again it does away with the unnecessary expense on some students who, for whatever reason, couldn’t find a job on arrival and have to return home – another reason for some parents to be happier.
It also introduces certainty for some student who wouldn’t have the courage to travel to the USA and start looking for jobs by themselves (and for parents who wouldn’t let their student travel for the same reason). So it opens up possibilities for many students.
The new system also opens up new destinations to Irish students who tend to travel to the same destinations where there are traditional jobs for J-1 students. We now have a wider range of destinations within the States with guaranteed jobs.
We have reached out to the Irish communities and business networks across the US and are already receiving new job offers. This includes some from employers who have not hired Irish J-1 students before, including some GAA clubs who can source approved jobs .
Students can also source their own approved jobs through contacts or research from previous J-1 students; and of course second or third time returning students can travel on the J-1 as they would most likely have pre-placement jobs from previous employers.
We are already registering students for the start of the new system for 2016. We have no shortage of visas and can accommodate 20% more applications than last year, including job offers.
All students from all countries entering the USA on the J-1 visa programme must now have a pre-placed job and this brings Ireland in line with all other countries, which is the basic reason behind the change.
Students should not under any circumstances think of travelling without a J-1 visa as the penalties can be refusal at pre-clearance in Irish airports or on arrival in the US. If found working illegally then the student will face deportation and non-re-entry for 10 years  .
That’s the only change to previous requirements and the only change to procedures is that students will have to start their process earlier.
Jerry Ferguson/ Flickr