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Am I eligible to apply?

You must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a minimum of 18 on date of application.
  • Must be under 28 years of age on date of application
  • Be enrolled full-time and pursuing studies at an Irish or UK accredited post-secondary, classroom-based, academic institutions physically located outside of the United States and have successfully completed at least one semester, or equivalent, of post-secondary academic study*.

*The definition of academic institutions excludes institutions that offer primarily vocational or technical programs. Students enrolled in primarily technical or vocational institutions will not be allowed to participate in the program. Example: culinary programs, construction, cosmetology.

Students undertaking online courses are not eligible to apply.


If you have already participated on the J1 USA Program you can travel  up to a maximum of 3 times, as long as you fulfill the eligibility criteria above.

If you have participated on any other type of J1 Visa Program such as the Trainee or Internship program, you can apply for the J1 USA Program as a first time participant as long as you fulfill the eligibility criteria above. You will however have to submit copies of your previous IAP-66 or DS-2019 with your program application.

My J1 Program was Terminated on a previous J1

Any student who was terminated on the any previous J1 Program with SAYIT & InterExchange or any other provider is no longer eligible to apply for the J1 Program.


Final year students are required to attend interview at the US Embassy. Proof of further education or employment following your return from the USA is required when attending interview.


If you are an International student studying at an Irish University or College, you may apply for the program. In some cases additional documentation and higher visa fees may apply. Please contact us for more details.

I have a Canadian Passport

Canadian Passport holders do not require to go to the US Embassy. We will organise all other relevant work forms required.

I am STUDING ABROAD on the ERASMUS program

If you are an Irish student currently studying in Great Britain or on Erasmus program abroad, you can still apply for the J1 Visa Program. You may need some additional documentation and your US Embassy interview may take more time to organise so please apply early to avoid any inconvenience. Your US Embassy interview may take place either in the country you are studying in or at home in Ireland. Please be aware that any interview conducted in a US Embassy outside Ireland is subject to their own Embassy fee. You will need to contact the Embassy in question directly to book your interview. We strongly advise this option.

If you decide to interview with the US Embassy in Ireland please be aware that Embassy processing can take up to three weeks or longer. During this time your passport will be retained by the US Embassy, this may affect any immediate travel arrangements that you have planned. Passports retained by the US Embassy is completely beyond our control.

Due to issues that arose in 2014 and a change in legislation by the US State Department in October 2014 we are unable to accept Erasmus students who are studying within the USA and Canada. We can only accept Irish students on Erasmus in Europe.

I'm a GAP Year Student or  Repeat Exam Student

Unfortunately, If you are taking a year out from college you are not eligible to apply for the J1 programme. If you are repeating a course just to take an exam or just retaking exams in the summer, unfortunately you are not eligible to apply for the J1 programme.


We accept FETAC/ QQI Level 6 and above students only based on on the NFQ

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