lil_lisa Moderator

Howdy Y'all,

UPDATE 11/7/2011
US Embassy have recently opened a new official site dedicated to J-1 information. This can be found at

So I have decided to put a FAQ thread together to help you on your J-1 visa path. These are questions which pop up in a lot of threads and from now on this will be the place to ask.

I want to assure you, you are not alone. As scary as all the paperwork and technicalities may seem, it is not impossible. We are here to help. Have a read through these FAQ first to see if anything answers your questions, if not feel free to ask HERE AND ONLY HERE.

Of course, be sure to come back here and let us know how everything went in the US.

As explained in the Forum Charter, illegal recommendations/advice is strictly forbidden and will not be tolerated.


Q. Can I obtain a J-1 visa on my own?

A. No. To apply for the J-1 visa, you must first obtain a DS-2019 form. The US Government has designated specific sponsors to provide this.

Q. Who are these sponsors?

A. The most popular US sponsors work with Irish travel partners.

SAYIT, USIT and GO4LESS (Irish partners) affiliate with Interexchange, CIEE and Intrax (sponsors) respectively.

For the summer J-1 visa, you CANNOT go through these sponsors directly, only their Irish travel partners.

IICenter in Boston is also a popular company to go through. A full list is at the bottom of this thread.

Q. When can I apply for a J-1 visa?

A. For the summer J-1 visa, companies usually open their programmes in late December/early January.
For the IWT, internship and training visa you can apply year round.

Q. How much does the J-1 visa cost?

A. As with a lot of things, the price of J-1 visas fluctuate. Here is a rough guide for the different visas:

Summer J-1 visa

  • Flights €300-€900 (depending on location)
  • Programme Fee €0-€300 (depending on when you book)
  • Insurance €100-€200
  • Embassy Fee $140/€100
  • SEVIS Fee €30

There are also optional costs like Exam Failure Cover, sim card, US bank account etc.

IWT/Internship J-1 visa
  • Flights €300-€900 (depending on location and time of year)
  • Programme Fee €600-€1200 (depending on how long you go for-12month max)
  • Insurance €300-€600
  • Embassy Fee $140/€100
  • SEVIS Fee €130

Training J-1 visa
  • Flights €300-€900 (depending on location and time of year)
  • Programme Fee €600-€1800 (depending on how long you go for 18 month max)
  • Insurance €300-€900
  • Embassy Fee $140/€100
  • SEVIS Fee €130

Q. Am I eligible?

A. You are eligible if you fit the following criteria for each visa:

Summer J-1 visa:
  • 18 years old + on date of travel
  • Currently enrolled in full time post secondary studies leading to a degree
  • Either:
    • Irish, Northern Irish or International student studying in Ireland or
    • Irish or Northern Irish student studying in Great Britain or on Erasmus/Socrates program abroad
    Final year students may apply with proof of return to Ireland

IWT J-1 visa:
  • Either:
    • Currently enrolled in full time or part time post secondary studies leading to a degree orGraduated from a third level college within the last 12 months.
    Hold an Irish Passport

Internship J-1 Visa:

7 people have thanked this post
pikiflan Registered User

Hi there,

I'm looking for a little advice from those who are also or have been on the 1 year working visa for the US. I left the country recently on a trip and am yet to return. I completely overlooked the fact that we're supposed to send off the little DS-2019 card from our passports to whoever's in Portland so i'll be travelling back in in a week or two with no form. The ones i've been in touch with tell me i'll be issued an I-515 which means I've to send that off to the Department of Homeland Security in DC (maybe taking up to three months to get back) if i'm to get a new DS form back in my passport and make any more trips outside.

Anybody forgotten to send it off in time, traveled back in without one and done another trip outside the US after (with only that I-515)?

(I'm hoping it's cock and bull like most of the other procedures attached to this visa scheme.)

lonestargirl Registered User

The card in your passport is the I-94, you surrender that upon leaving the US.

The DS-2019 is an A4 page with details of you visa, sponsor etc. on it. It has a section that should be signed in order for you to re-enter the US. I left without havibng mine signed the first time I entered on my visa as I only came for a week. I just then FedExed it to the US and the signed copy back to me before I re-entered the US. As far as I'm aware it doesn't have to be signed if you are only travelling to MExico or Canada.

lolliemc Registered User

Myself and two others are going on a j1 to New York but we don't have a clue where to go? lots of places have been mentioned to us but we want to be a little bit outside the city near a beach if possible. we are considering ocean city.. are there any jobs in ocean city? is rent affordable? any other suggestions on where to go? help!!

sleepyescapade Registered User

Is there anyway to do this? If I decide to go on the 12 month visa, I think I will likely go with the IIC. Can I just pick a return flight for such a date and then change the dates for the flights later or will that be costly? Ideally I would like proof of return dates, if possible, for my Embassy interview.

lil_lisa Moderator

Proof of return flights aren't required for the 12 month visa. Most airlines won't allow you to book past 9 months in the future. If you can bring some other proof tying you to Ireland you should be fine. I had a friend write a business letter stating that he would be employing me when I return from the visa.

1 person has thanked this post
fionn14 Registered User

haven't been myself but have been told it's basically a bigger version of tramore. (No offence intended to anyone from tramore). Basically, it's tacky. My friends who went did have a great time, got work OK but not easily. They had a bit of hassle with the cops and some even had to do community service The place won't add anything to your experience in summary is the feedback I got anyway.

dory Moderator

I'm moving this thread over to the United States forum. It has been decided that anything to do with getting a visa to work abroad should not be dealt with here. There'll be a sticky once I get a free moment.

1 person has thanked this post
cherrybomb! Registered User

ye i have a couple of friends who arent in college and want to join us on the j1 is this possible??

fionn14 Registered User

Hi all, basically I'm looking to do something different to standard J1. I'm a sailing instructor but also a beach lifeguard and would love to go somewhere different (not USA) and work for 2/3 months this summer. So far I haven't had a very structured approach to finding work and was wondering does anyone have any tips? In terms of european places I've sent applications away to sun sail and nelison which seem to be 2 of the big ones for sailing in europe. Last year I applied to Club Med for work as a sailing instructor and got as far as a Skype interview but no luck. Last time I checked they didn't have any positions listed as available for this year.

Basically I'm open to any suggestions or advice. I've been looking into the caribbean but I don't really know if I'm wasting my time. The only place in the USA i've much interest in going to is Hawaii and I've sent emails to a few places there but no replies as of yet.

All I want is sun and sea and a bit of work and anywhere that fills that criteria is OK for me!


Hi I didn't know where to post this so i'm just gonna leave it here.
My friend asked me today if i had any interest in doing a J1 summer abroad this year and he presented me with the following scenario, that we could get jobs on a cruise ship!
I just thought this sounded absolutely amazing!!
Does anyone know if anyone has done this or something simmilar in the last few years, I'm just slightly sceptical as to the availability of such positions etc.
If this isnt possible could anyone make suggestions based on their own experiences in the states or down under.

Any suggestions or help will be appreciated

dr.bollocko Moderator

Thread moved rom After Hours. I think you're looking for some serious responses OP so I think here is the best place for your query.
FWIW I did J1 to California and had a great time.


Bondi Beach in Autralia is the place to go if its lifeguarding your into! You should check it out

goawaylisa Registered User

Hello everyone, long-time reader first-time poster...

Im going to NYC in March on the graduate 12 month work visa with the hopes of getting a nice job.

Will be going on my own initially so I thought I'd post here to see if there was anyone in a similar situation. It'd be nice to know people over there as Ive never even been to New York and if I could get any leads on sharing accomodation as I know it can be expensive and furniture is often sold separately..

dory Moderator

I'm going to move this to the United States forum as I really think you'll get more replies there.

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