After 50 years, the J-1 programme is still true to its roots
Since its launch in 1966 the J-1 Summer Work Travel (SWT) programme has welcomed 150,000 of Ireland's best and brightest young people to the United States.
As the US Ambassador to Ireland, and a lucky participant in an international people-to-people exchange in my own youth, I am fully committed to the J-1 SWT programme's continued success. Understandably, over the course of five decades, the programme has evolved.
Most recently, the two largest independent, non-government J-1 sponsors in the United States - Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE) and InterExchange - announced a new policy that will require all of their prospective J-1 participants worldwide, including students from Ireland, the United Kingdom, and other visa waiver countries to have a pre-arranged job vetted and approved prior to the government being able to issue a J-1 visa and travel to the United States in 2016.