J-1 Summer Work Travel Program

Starting in 2016, the two largest sponsors of the J-1 Summer Work Travel program in Ireland are requiring Irish students to have a summer job vetted and approved before traveling to the U.S.

What the Change Means

ACT NOW! Irish J-1 Summer Work Travel participants working through CIEE and InterExchange in the U.S. and USIT and SAYIT Travel in Ireland now must receive a suitable offer of employment by a U.S. employer before they will be issued the documents they need to apply for a visa.

Who Benefits from the Change

By securing a job in advance, you can travel to the U.S. assured you may start working immediately upon arrival, and will be able to focus on experiencing America to its fullest.

How to Find a Job

Talk to friends and family who have already been to the U.S. Many employers in the U.S. are familiar with the J-1 program and are keen to hire students from Ireland. Or sign up for a job fair. USIT or SAYIT Travel and CIEE or InterExchange will offer job fairs in Ireland over the winter months. These jobs are pre-approved by the sponsor and simplify the process even more.

Keep Your Word

You are expected to report to the site of activity listed on your DS-2019 form. Failure to report to your pre-approved job and make a good faith effort to work at the position and honor your work commitment may result in program termination. You must contact your U.S. sponsor before leaving a job. All additional and subsequent jobs must also be vetted by your U.S. sponsor before you begin work.

Acceptable Types of Jobs

All employers hiring J-1 Summer Work Travel participants must demonstrate a seasonal or temporary need for additional staff during the summer season. The positions must be entry level, unskilled, and require minimal training.

Unacceptable Types of Jobs

Certain types of jobs are expressly prohibited. They include:

  • Construction/general labor jobs
  • Pedi-cab jobs and those requiring operating a motor vehicl
  •  Jobs requiring work hours between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Jobs in a private home (childcare, cleaning, and so on)
  • Jobs requiring purchasing of inventory for sale
  • Jobs requiring work as an independent contractor.

Please be sure to review the requirements and list of prohibited positions before submitting a job offer.

For Help Finding a Job

For more information and help in identifying potential J-1 summer job opportunities, please contact USIT or SAYIT Travel.

1. Collect a job offer from an employer
Once an employer has offered you a position at his or her business, a job offer must be completed.

2. Submit the job offer for review
Submit the job offer to your J-1 Agency (USIT or SAYIT Travel). The J-1 Agency will send the job offer to CIEE or InterExchange for vetting.

3. Sponsor verifies position
Your U.S. Sponsor will contact the employer to review the job offer details. The employer will need to provide the following documents before the sponsor can approve the position:

  • Employer Identification Number (Federal Tax Identification Number)
  • Business License
  • Workers’ compensation information

Note: Please let potential employers know that your sponsor will be contacting them.

4. Interview for a J-1 visa and travel to the USA
If the job offer is approved, your U.S. sponsor will issue a DS-2019 form and a J-1 visa interview can be scheduled with the U.S. embassy. If the job offer is not approved, the sponsor will notify your J-1 Agency.