Category: Archive

New J1 visas come on stream

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The center is the first of what could eventually be a number of sponsoring centers around the U.S. that will be tasked with accepting applications under the program.
The Boston center has been approved in its role by the U.S. State Department, in part because it has previous experience working with the Walsh Visa program.
Visas obtained through the Boston center can be used for work anywhere in the U.S.
There was no take-up date for the program per se, said a spokesman for the Irish embassy in Washington.
The pace of the program would depend on the number of centers ultimately approved, and also the number of applicants, the spokesman indicated.
“The more the better,” the spokesman said in reference to sponsoring outlets such as the Boston center.
Applicants for the J1 visas have to be enrolled in a college program, or be within one year of graduating.
The program does not provide any visa relief for the undocumented Irish but will allow a minimum of 20,000 eligible Irish citizens to work and travel in the U.S. for up to a year.
The program, which is an enhanced version, but is separate from, the existing J1 summer program, resulted from a deal between the U.S. and Ireland unveiled in October by Irish foreign affairs minister Miche_l Martin.
Martin, who wrapped up the negotiations on the program during a stopover in Washington, was quick to point out that the visa deal was separate and distinct from the widely hoped for bilateral visa deal between the two countries, and also hoped for U.S. comprehensive immigration reform.
But in an interview with the Echo at the time, Martin spoke of “a three pronged approach” to expanded legal movement both ways across the Atlantic.
“This represents one of the most significant developments in our visa arrangements with the U.S. in almost two decades,” Martin said after the signing.
The J1 deal, he said, was just “one element in our three pronged approach involving a solution for our undocumented; new bilateral arrangements to provide reciprocal long term working visas (known as E3s) and the Working Holiday Agreement. Finding a solution for our undocumented remains a key priority for this government.”
Martin emphasized that his government was separately working towards a bilateral visa deal with the U.S. based on the existing E3 program linking the U.S. and Australia.
And he acknowledged that the new J1 link would hold no benefit for the undocumented Irish, nor could it be in any way seen as a step along the road to immigration reform.
A bilateral plan, said Martin, would result in U.S. citizens being able to come to Ireland on the basis of a two-year renewable visa and Irish citizens coming to America on the same basis.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese