Application Information

I am a final year student, am I eligible?

Final year students can apply. You just need to be able to show your intention to return to Ireland at the end of your programme. For more information contact

What do I pay?

Once you sign up for the programme, you will be asked to pay the first deposit of €99, with the next instalment of €200 within 20 days of signing up for the programme. These will come off your overall invoice and are not extra costs!

All remaining amounts will be due on the Pay in Full date listed on your invoice.

You will have your very own tracking page to stay on top of your application, and make any further payments.

I have been arrested and/or convicted of a crime / drink driving offence. How does this affect my application?

If you have committed/ been arrested and/or convicted of any criminal or drink driving offence, you will not be eligible for the J1. Please contact the J1 team for further details

Where can I go?

You can travel to anywhere in the USA apart from the listed prohibited regions. Hundreds of options are available - why don't you do something totally different for the summer - work at a beach resort in Miami, a hotel in Anchorage, an amusement park in Orlando, a restaurant in Seattle, a diner in Ohio… you have 50 states to choose from!

How many times can I go on the J1 Summer Work & Travel Programme?

You can go on a J1 Summer Work and Travel Visa three times, once you still qualify under the eligibility section and have not previously been terminated from your J1 Programme.

Prohibited Regions & Restricted Job Locations

Locations where students plan to live, and work must provide opportunities for regular communication and interaction with U.S. citizens and allow participants to experience U.S. culture. You cannot work in remote/isolated areas and/or locations that may cause safety concerns. Seasonal accommodation must also be readily available. You must be able to keep in contact via phone, email, etc. with Your US sponsor at all times. US Sponsors hold the right to refuse locations that may be deemed a concern for J1 Summer Work and Travel participants.

Some examples of locations where jobs may not be approved can be seen in the below prohibited and restricted areas lists.

  • Alabama (AL) – Gulf Shores/Orange Beach
  • California (CA) – Santa Barbara, Isla Vista, Goleta
  • Florida (FL) – “Panhandle” including the following cities; Apalachicola, DeFuniak Springs, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Marianna, Panama City, Panama City Beach, Pensacola, Tallahassee.
  • Hawaii (HI)- a severe concern with US sponsors, due to lack of housing. Contact J1 Team for more information
  • Kansas (KS)
  • Louisiana (LA) - New Orleans
  • Maryland (MD) - The following locations are restricted:
    • Chester/Easton region:
    • Annapolis
    • Curtis Bay
    • Glen Burnie
    • Mcdaniel
    • Rosedale
    • Annapolis Junction
    • Davidsonville
    • Glenn Dale
    • Millersville
    • Royal Oak
    • Arnold
    • Deale
    • Grasonville
    • Neavitt
    • Saint Michaels
    • Baltimore
    • Denton
    • Greenbelt
    • Newcomb
    • Secretary
    • Bethlehem
    • Dundalk
    • Gwynn Oak
    • North Beach
    • Severn
    • Bowie
    • Dunkirk
    • Halethorpe
    • Nottingham
    • Severna Park
    • Bozman
    • East New Market
    • Hanover
    • Odenton
    • Shady Side
    • Brooklandville
    • Easton
    • Harmans
    • Oxford
    • Sherwood
    • Brooklyn
    • Edgewater
    • Harwood
    • Parkville
    • Sparrows Point
    • Catonsville
    • Elkridge
    • Hillsboro
    • Pasadena
    • Stevensville
    • Centreville
    • Essex
    • Hurlock
    • Pikesville
    • Tilghman
    • Chester
    • Federalsburg
    • Lanham
    • Preston
    • Towson
    • Chestertown
    • Fort George G
    • Laurel
    • Queen Anne
    • Tracys Landing
    • Churchton
    • Fort Howard
    • Linkwood
    • Queenstown
    • Trappe
    • Claiborne
    • Friendship
    • Linthicum Heights
    • Riderwood
    • Upper Marlboro
    • Cordova
    • Galesville
    • Lothian
    • Ridgely
    • West River
    • Crofton
    • Gambrills
    • Lutherville Timonium
    • Riva
    • Wittman
    • Crownsville
    • Gibson Island
    • Mayo
    • Rock Hall
    • Wye Mills
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • New Jersey (NJ) – Atlantic City
  • New Mexico (NM)
  • Nevada (NV) - Las Vegas
  • Pennsylvania (PA) – The following locations are restricted:
    • Annville
    • Elm
    • Jonestown
    • Mount Gretna
    • Rossville
    • Bainbridge
    • Emigsville
    • Landisville
    • Mount Joy
    • Schaefferstown
    • Boiling Springs
    • Enola
    • Lawn
    • Mount Wolf
    • Shermans Dale
    • Camp Hill
    • Etters
    • Lebanon
    • Myerstown
    • Silver Spring
    • Campbelltown
    • Franklintown
    • Lemoyne
    • New Bloomfield
    • Summerdale
    • Carlisle
    • Fredericksburg
    • Lewisberry
    • New Buffalo
    • Tower City
    • Columbia
    • Grantham
    • Manchester
    • New Cumberland
    • Wellsville
    • Cornwall
    • Grantville
    • Manheim
    • New Kingstown
    • Williamstown
    • Dauphin
    • Halifax
    • Marietta
    • Ono
    • York
    • Dillsburg
    • Harrisburg
    • Marysville
    • Palmyra
    • York Haven
    • Dover
    • Hershey
    • Maytown
    • Quentin
    • Duncannon
    • Highspire
    • Mechanicsburg
    • Rexmont
    • Elizabethtown
    • Hummelstown
    • Middletown
    • Rheems
  • Vermont (VT) - Burlington, South Burlington
  • West Virginia (WV)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Restricted Job Locations Requiring Pre-Arranged Housing

In certain geographical areas, housing has become an area of concern as affordable, suitable housing options that offer safe transportation options to job sites are limited. In order to ensure student safety and support program success, we will be limiting students’ job placements in certain locations in regard to housing.

The following communities and/or U.S. states have become areas of concern as suitable housing options for participants are limited. Employer placements in these locations are restricted to employers who provide housing.

  • East Hampton, NY
  • Jackson Hole, WY
  • Kittery, ME
  • Montauk, NY
  • South Hampton, NY
  • Bridgehampton, NY
  • California (CA) and Nevada (NV) - Lake Tahoe
  • Colorado (CO) - Aspen, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Telluride, Vail
  • Utah (UT) - Brett Robinson Gulf Corporation

The following communities and/or U.S. states have become areas of concern as suitable housing options for participants are limited. Participants must secure housing at least two weeks in advance of their arrivals. If housing is not provided with the job offer, participants must be advised to start early in seeking housing in these areas and work with their employer to secure housing.

  • Cape Cod, MA
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Ocean City, MD
  • Rehoboth Beach, DE
  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • Cape May, NJ
  • Wildwood, NJ

In addition, due to multiple student collisions with vehicles while biking in the area this past summer, your US sponsor are asking all students in Cape May to be proactive in finding appropriate housing and transportation and have requested the same of employers. If students are living in Wildwood but working in Cape May, they will not be allowed to bike back and forth to work. Your US sponsor have asked employers sourced through them to help arrange work schedules to fit the public transportation schedule, provide transportation for them, and/or set up a ride share system with local staff members. Please remember, if they are using their bikes locally (within Cape May or within Wildwood) that they should always have a helmet and reflective gear.

Do you organise flights?

No, on our J1 program, participants are able to book their own flights independently and should wait until you receive your DS 2019 and have your US Embassy interview scheduled.

How much roughly would you need to have set aside for the entire experience (money-wise)?

You need to bring the minimum proof of funds $800 to enter the USA, which should keep you going until you start getting paid depending on your rent and other expenses you may have.

So, should I wait until I get my new passport to complete my application? Or can I change my passport photo on my application later?

No, you can sign up to the USIT J1 programme and complete all other steps in phase 1 while you wait for your new passport. However, we won’t be able to submit your application to the US sponsor until you have submitted the passport you will be travelling with.

How can final students who are graduating take part in the J1, what proof would we need to ensure we are going to return to Ireland since we are finished university?

The US embassy may ask for proof of returning home this could be in the form of a master’s application if you are going for one or a letter from an employer that you will be returning for work.

Are the fees paid in full or in installments?

You pay your €99 deposit, then a further €200 to move onto phase 2 and then your final balance is due before your DS-2019 is issued.

With the J1 Job guaranteed programme do we get options of where I can work?

Yes, there are hundreds of jobs on the USIT Jobs hub from East coast to West coast and everywhere in between with jobs being added daily.

How do you organise the US embassy interview?

Once you have all your paperwork organised you will be advised by USIT when and how to apply for your US Embassy interview.

Can you apply for J1 next summer if you deferred the academic year in college?

Your college must consider you fully enrolled in full time education to participate in the J1 program.

If you have family where you want to work in the US can that help in any way?

Absolutely, if you have connections in the US, make us of them for help finding your job/accommodation.
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