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J1 Summer Work & Travel 2016 Program Changes

Contact: Aileen Leonard Dibra
t: 914-837-2007

November 17, 2015–The US sponsoring agencies that maintain oversight of the J1 Summer Work & Travel program have announced a programmatic change requiring pre-placed employment for all applicants (Visa Waiver countries included) beginning in the 2016 season. The Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers (CIIC) and its membership are diligently working to prepare for the new program requirements.

CIIC and the Irish centers throughout the United States are committed to continuing to support the Irish J1 students that come to the US in summer 2016 to the best of our ability, as we have in past years.

CIIC encourages prospective J1 students and their parents to be diligent in reviewing and understanding the new program requirements as outlined by the US sponsoring agencies.

Celine Kennelly, CIIC Board President, stated “this is not the J1 program of the past. The Summer Work & Travel program is now directly tied to finding and securing an approved job prior to receiving the J1 visa.

“The US sponsors are seeking suitable employment opportunities for students in summer 2016, but it is critical that the students plan early this year and contact their sponsors with questions about the new regulations and program process. Historically, participation in the J1 program has been a significant personal development experience for Irish college students and an integral part of their college education, and we want to ensure that it remains as such for future generations.”

Ronnie Millar, CIIC Board Vice President, stated “it is important to note that these new regulations are restricted to the J1 Summer Work & Travel program, and do not affect the 12 month J1 Intern Work & Travel program.”


The Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers (CIIC) was established in 1996 to promote the welfare of Irish immigrants in the US at a national level. The CIIC is funded by a generous grant from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Emigrant Support Programme.

The Coalition serves as a national umbrella organization representing Irish immigration and community centers throughout the United States that are committed to providing support to Irish immigrants. The Coalition strives to be a strong, cohesive and representative voice for the needs of its member centers, and in turn the greater community of Irish immigrants in the US. The Coalition prioritizes the sharing of information and the creation of best practices as a way to support and assist its member centers in their direct service work. CIIC member organizations are located in California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Philadelphia and Washington

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