Irish students that plan on applying for a J1 visa may be facing a serious blow
US authorities might be tightening the rules.
The J1 visa program has been incredibly popular with Irish students since its introduction over 40 years ago but there may be a restriction on the amount of visas approved by US officials.
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny was speaking in the Dáil yesterday and delivered some news that Irish students will be paying close attention to, "because of a series of issues that have arisen, the authorities that issue J1 visas seem to be bent on introducing a requirement for pre-employment for young people before they go."
Essentially this proposed plan means that jobs will already have to be lined up before Irish students even arrive in the US.
Kenny added, "I am unaware of the extent of the paperwork and administration that may be involved, but if that were to happen it could lead to two things. First, a serious reduction in the number of J1 visas granted to Ireland; it could perhaps be down by as much as 60% or 80%. Second, people who travel out on holiday visas may then decide to work illegally, which would only cause trouble for themselves and everyone else afterwards."
If these plans are introduced, it would be a massive blow to the travel plans of some 7,500 Irish students that avail of the programme.