Remember: You MUST have an approved seasonal job before your J1-Visa is issued and you travel to the USA.

We recommend you update your US Resume and start applying to American Employers as soon as possible!

The J1 Summer Work and Travel Program allows students the chance to experience US culture whilst gaining international work experience. This once in a lifetime opportunity has countless benefits including; making lifelong friends, experiencing personal growth, and a chance to immerse yourself in a different culture.


  • Any nationality studying in Ireland or
  • Irish, Northern Ireland Nationals studying in Great Britain or
  • Irish Nationals on Erasmus/Socrates abroad or
  • Legal permanent resident of Northern Ireland studying in Great Britain


  • 18 years of age at time of application or
  • 18 years of age by 15th May 2019 (with parental permission in form of co-signature on application form)
  • *Please note, an upper age limit of 30 applies to the Premium J1 Programme.

Student Status

  • Full-time academic day course in a recognised Irish University or College (running at least 2 years full time) that will ultimately lead to a degree or higher qualification
  • Returning to either a full-time job (if you are in the final year of your degree or higher course) OR (if in a 2/3 year Cert or Diploma course) returning to full-time education in autumn 2019 for at least one more year of full-time study on your current course in order to ultimately gain a degree or higher qualification.
  • 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

Students are only eligible on the programme if they intend to gain a minimum of a degree qualification at the end of their studies. If a student is studying on a 2 year Cert course or 3 year Diploma course and does not intend (or cannot) follow on to a degree level course, they are not eligible for the programme.

If a student cannot convince the US Embassy at the time of their interview that they are coming back to continue studying towards their degree in their course of study, they will be rejected immediately

Repeat J1ers

If you have already been on the J1 Summer Work & Travel Programme you can go again up to three times in total, so long as you fulfill the eligibility criteria above. Please contact for more info.

If you have participated on any other type of J1 Visa Programme such as Internship USA or Summer Camp USA, you should apply for the J1 Summer Work & Travel programme as a first timer as long as you fulfill the eligibility criteria above.

International Students

If you are an International student studying your full degree or higher qualification at an Irish University or College, you may apply for J1 WAT 2019. However, additional documentation, visa fees and processing may be required. Please check with your local USIT branch for more details.

Studying Abroad

Erasmus / Socrates / UK - If you are an Irish student (normally resident in Ireland, North or South) currently studying in Great Britain or on Erasmus/Socrates abroad, you may apply for J1 WAT 2019.
However, you will have to return to Ireland to attend your US Embassy interview, no exceptions. The US Embassy will hold your passport for a minimum of 5 working days from the day of your interview.

Please note

If you have a pre-existing medical condition it may render you ineligible for our J-1 WAT insurance. For more information please call 01 602 1600 or email

The US Embassy reserves the right in rejecting the J-1 WAT visa applications. In cases where a visa is denied, full cancellation fees will apply and neither USIT nor your US Sponsor can be held responsible for, or make any plea to reverse, any decision made by the US Embassy. The US Embassy decision is final.