Number of J1s up 2,600 in spite of Trump plan
The annual summer exodus of young people to the US is on this year - despite fears that the J1 visa might be axed under the Trump regime.
Far from being scrapped as had been threatened, the US State Department has allocated an extra 2,600 J1 summer visas.
A statement from the US Embassy said that the 7,000 available visas would bring the number of J1 permits in line with 2015 figures.
The "pre-placement policy", which means that people travelling have to secure a job in advance, is still in place.
Numbers availing of a J1 dipped when the new stipulation was added in 2016.
Mr Trump's campaign team explicitly targeted the J1 programme, saying it would be "terminated" in favour of a scheme to encourage employers to hire young Americans.
But now it appears that the future of the programme is secure for the time being.
It allows young people to soak up US culture while getting work experience on the other side of the pond.
Anyone looking to secure a J1 visa is encouraged to begin the application process immediately.
"The US Embassy in Dublin is fully committed to the success of the J1 programmes in Ireland. In addition to the popular Summer Work and Travel programme, Irish students can participate in the Camp Counsellor, Au Pair and Intern programmes.
"The embassy is working with Irish Government representatives as well as US and Irish programme implementers to ensure Irish students continue to benefit from the J1 programmes," a statement from the embassy said.
The news will be welcome following concerns for the scheme after the election of President Trump.
During the former reality television star's campaign he appeared to indicate that the scheme would be scrapped.
He described it as a scheme for "foreign youths" and said he would prefer to see the jobs on offer given to inner city residents.
However, last December the agreement between Ireland and the US in respect of the visas was signed for another three years.
The J1 programme works in two ways, with both a 12-month visa and a four-month summer work visa. The extra allocation refers only to the four-month summer visas.
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