J1 graduate visa programme for US extended
12-month visa scheme was due to expire for Irish graduates in October
The year-long J1 visa programme which allows Irish graduates to work in the US has been extended for another two years.
The reciprocal “Intern Work and Travel Pilot” arrangement between the US and Irish governments was due to expire in October, but a deal has been reached to keep it in place until 2016, the Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed.
A spokeswoman for the Department said the extension would “allow for a review of its operation to date and of how it might best operate in the future”.
“Both Governments fully recognise the value of the programme for US-Ireland relations,” she added.
The 12-month limit on the visa has been a contentious issue, as applicants say some employers are unwilling to take them on for such a short period of time. It had been speculated that the authorities may have been considering extending the programme to 24 months, though for the time being, it will remain limited to one year.
The graduate J1 (different to the J1 summer programme) allows Irish citizens over the age of 18 who have recently finished second level or graduated from third level to live and work in any part of the US for up to 12 months.
For full details on eligibility criteria and how to apply, see the guide to applying for a 12-month J1 visa.