Wednesday, 18 December 2019
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Visa Waiver Programme
93. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of students who participated in the J1 visa programme in each of the years 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53529/19]
The J1 visa programme, for Irish citizens to work and travel in the US, is managed by US-based sponsors and student travel agents in Ireland, under the authority of the Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State. All figures related to the J1 programme are maintained by US authorities.
Figures shared by the US Authorities with my Department laid out in tabular form below show data for the two most popular categories, the J1 “Summer Work and Travel” scheme and the “Camp Counsellor” scheme. Since 2011 uptake in the Camp Counsellor scheme has grown significantly, while the number of those taking part in the Summer Work and Travel programme has decreased. It should be noted that the numbers for 2019 are preliminary counts and as such, are subject to change.
|Numbers||J1 Summer Work and Travel||J1 Camp Counsellor|
Officials in my Department have met with the two largest J1 sponsors in Ireland, SAYIT and USIT, and have discussed the decline in the number of Irish citizens availing of the programme in recent years. Our Ambassador in Washington and his colleagues also regularly meet with the US-based sponsors to discuss encouragement of uptake of the programme.