Return of the J-1 Irish Work & Travel Visa is in the works

The goal: Applications in August; starts in ‘22

 Many organizations look to Rian's year-long J-1 Irish Work and Travel (Graduate) visa program to help support their businesses, and as we move into the summer months, many US businesses have reported feeling the pinch in terms of not being able to call upon J-1 exchange visitors to complete internships. 

This visa allows Irish University graduates to come to the US for up to 12 months to work in an internship related to their area of study.  However, the program is also suffering due to the travel restrictions and reduced embassy activity.  Feedback from employers point to the J-1 visa as greatly supporting their businesses through, but not limited to, helping with short term projects, adding fresh ideas to a business, and,, of course, adding a touch of diversity and international perspective in the workplace.  

The arrival of Covid in 2020 led to a suspension of all the J-1 visa programs, and while that suspension has now expired, travel bans and the fact that the Embassies have not yet begun processing non-immigrant visas means we are not to date welcoming any new J-1 exchange visitors to the US.  

Rian Immigrant Center is planning on reopening applications for the J-1 visa program in August, with visa start dates hopefully from November onward.  Demand is certainly there.  We already have approximately 400 Irish University graduates on our visa waitlist, all looking forward to embarking on their own J-1 exchange programs and gaining great work experience that will help them when they return home to Ireland to start their careers.  

If your business is interested in hiring a J-1 exchange visitor to start in early 2022, please do reach out to our director of Learning Exchange Programs, Jude Clarke ( and he can connect you with those graduates on our waitlist who have the skills, knowledge, and ambition to support your business.