Last chance to book for J1 2024

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J1 USA

What is a J1 visa?

Live and work in the USA for the summer – with 30 days after to travel. Secure your summer with a €149 deposit and select ‘USIT Job’ to get access to 1,000+ J1 summer jobs in America.

On the fence? 

Let's talk

Don't miss out on summer '24! Hundreds of J1 jobs still hiring on our Job Hub.

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Summer in the city

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Why do a J1 visa in America?

The best thing to happen to Irish students since subsidised SU bars, an Irish J1 visa is the chance to have a summer of a lifetime in the USA. (Or three – you can do a J1 visa every summer you’re studying). Live, work and travel with a summer job in the US city of your choice. Go with your crew or find a new tribe. Then once work is out, you have 30 days to explore everything America has to offer. It’s the ultimate way to earn, explore and experience an actual summer – with sun. (Sorry Ireland, you’re also very good).

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Why do it with USIT?

#1 for J1 jobs

We annually add 1,000+ J1 jobs on our Job Hub. Positions range from servers to lifeguards, and are in all the J1 summer hot spots – including San Diego, New York, San Francisco, Boston, LA, Chicago, Cape Cod and Myrtle Beach. Just hit ‘USIT Job’ when you book to search, interview and get hired. Or if you’d rather find your own job, select ‘Own Job’ and we’ll handle the rest of your J1 application.

Book now pay later

It’s a numbers thing. The later you book your J1, the fewer jobs will be available and the more chance you have of not securing your J1 visa in time. USIT J1 bookings open in July, so start the process early with a deposit. And in the unlikely event you change your mind and decide to stay in Ireland for the summer (* snorts with laughter *) you can transfer your deposit to another program – no awkward questions asked.

J1 since 1961

The original J1 experts, we help thousands of Irish J1-ers each year. Travellers ourselves, we know how important this summer is to you – and we work our beach balls off to make it happen. We have a new customer account to easily track your application, more J1 USA employers than ever, and the largest J1 team for 1-on-1 support. We’re also where you are – hosting virtual and live events across Ireland for all the J1 intel IRL.

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J1 deadlines

Summer is fast approaching. Here are our recommended deadlines to get hired and out to the USA this year.

  • To travel in May, you must book 'USIT Job' and be signed up to an employer by 25 Feb.
  • If you have your 'Own Job', book now and submit your job offer by 25 Feb to guarantee June travel.

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18-30 years

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Full-time college student

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3-4 months (Jun-Sep)

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1000+ J1 jobs each year

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30 days after to travel

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Apply Jul-Mar

from €999

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The inside scoop

“Money comes back, so make those memories.”

Meet J1 Insider, Xav. Who spent last summer working in Florida on her J1. Leading up to summer ’24, our Insiders will be across our channels spilling the iced tea on all things J1. Click to watch and follow @usittravel.

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Need to know

J1 USA | from €999

We do the works – providing the J1 application processing, work papers, J1 job, vetting, travel insurance and expert support you need to have an unforgettable summer working in America.

So, you're sold on mixing it up in Miami, making waves in San Diego or getting your five a day in the Big Apple. But first, you need to get an approved job in the US. We have two J1 USA options to choose from. USIT Job – where you interview and get hired with vetted J1 employers on our Job Hub, or Own Job – where you find your own position and our sponsor approves it for the J1 visa program.

Here's everything you need to know.

To be eligible for the J1 visa program, you must be:

  • Any nationality studying in Ireland, an Irish or Northern Irish National studying in Great Britain or an Irish National on Erasmus
  • Enrolled in a full-time academic day course in a recognised Irish University or College. Final year students can apply, but you’ll need to be able to show your intention to return to Ireland at the end of your program
  • Aged 18-30 on the date you enter the USA
  • Able to commit to the full summer season of your J1 employer, usually 8-12 weeks from Jun-Aug
  • Must have a passport that’s valid for at least six months beyond your stay with a free double page for your paper visa
  • Must have proof of an onward flight from the USA
  • Must be able to provide proof of supporting funds, usually USD $800 in the form of a bank statement

Visa length and process Depending on your job offer, you’re legally allowed to work from 15 May-15 Sep, with 30 days after to travel. J1 applications usually close in March each year.

The J1 visa consists of an online application and an in-person visa appointment at the US Embassy. The whole process, from program sign-up to attending your embassy interview, can take around 12 weeks – longer if you delay at any point in the process.

How we help Working with our long-running US sponsors, we provide the employment checks and issue all the official paperwork you need to secure your J1 visa. Our J1 team help thousands of Irish J1 students each year, so will guide you through it step-by-step. More importantly, we’ve all worked in the US – so are here for firsthand advice on all things America.

Not a student? Check out our Camp USA program instead.

Typically, J1 jobs are ‘seasonal’ 2-3 month jobs working in the hospitality, tourism or retail industry – working in bars, restaurants, country clubs, theme parks, hotels and resorts working as servers, bartenders, bussers, lifeguards and more. Think ordinary jobs in extraordinary locations – where employers need short-term workers to help with the summer rush. You must work a minimum of 32 hours a week on this visa.

Where you can work The most popular places for Irish students to do a J1 are San Diego, New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Myrtle Beach, Ocean City and LA. However, bar a list of locations outlined in our FAQs (that are restricted due to their remote location or lack of affordable accommodation), you can work almost anywhere in the USA so long as your position fits the J1 criteria. J1 jobs in these locations are in high demand, so the earlier you apply - the earlier you'll get access to our Job Hub to start applying.

What you can earn Earning potential varies from state to state. If you’re working for a ‘salary only’ position, this must meet the federal minimum wage. If you’re working for ‘salary plus tips’ your hourly rate will be much lower. For example, a server in NYC may earn $4/hour but can expect to earn $400-500 a week in tips. Some roles may also include meals on shift and subsidised staff accommodation – helping to keep your costs down. All salaries are outlined on our Job Hub.

Finding a job If you’re finding your own J1 job, check out our FAQs for a list of restricted professions and tips below on finding your position. If you want the stress taken out of your job search, select ‘USIT Job’ and you’ll have access to hundreds of US employers actively searching for J1 participants. All the employers on our Job Hub are pre-vetted to ensure the jobs and locations they offer are permitted on this visa.

Summer '24 deadlines To travel in May, you must book 'USIT Job' and be signed up to an employer by 25 Feb. If you have your 'Own Job', book now and submit your job offer by 25 Feb to guarantee June travel.

1. Pay your deposit Check your eligibility above, hit book now, fill out your application and upload the required documents to your account – such as your student status and passport.

2. Phone interview One of our team will be in touch to arrange a call. Nothing scary, but it is a government visa requirement to assess your suitability for the J1 program.

If you’ve chosen USIT Job:

3. Access our Job Hub Log onto our Job Hub via your online account and start searching for positions in your preferred location. Jobs are filled on a first come first served basis, so we’d recommend applying early. Upload your CV, apply and interview via video call.

4. Get hired Upload your job offer to your online account so it can be reviewed by our team and sent to your US sponsor to be vetted. Move to step 5.

If you’re chosen Own Job:

3. Find your job Start searching for jobs using our tips below. Once you have an offer, download the placement agreement from your online account to send to your prospective USA employer.

4. Get hired Upload your job offer to your online account so it can be reviewed by our team and sent to your US sponsor to be vetted. Move to step 5.

5. Work papers Your DS2019 Work Authorisation papers are requested (this can take two weeks). Once issued, your DS2019 papers will be made available for you to download and print via your online account.

6. US Embassy interview We’ll guide you through arranging and prepping for your US Embassy interview in Dublin. The embassy may have your passport for up to 10 business days.

7. Collect your passport Pick up your passport from DPD in Dublin or have it couriered to your house (additional fee payable at the embassy). Once you have your visa, it’s safe to book your flights and confirm your accommodation (if not part of your job offer).

8. J1 orientation Log on for your pre-departure orientation to meet your in-country sponsor and have all your J1 questions answered. Your sponsor will be there for you 24/7 while you’re in the States.

What's included

Pick the J1 job package that works for you.

  • J1 application processing
  • J1 legal work papers (DS2019)
  • Job vetting and approval support
  • 5 months’ travel insurance
  • Pre-departure J1 orientation
  • J1 handbook
  • SEVIS fee
  • Postage of your DS2019 papers
  • Personal J1 account to make sure everything runs smoothly
  • Support from our dedicated J1 team support

Everything the Own Job includes, plus J1 job peace of mind:

  • A guaranteed US summer job
  • Access to our Job Hub of 1,000+ seasonal jobs where you can search, apply and interview via video for J1 jobs
  • Invites to our J1 hiring fairs
  • Dedicated J1 job placement manager

Book now pay later

• Deposit of €149 due at the time of application
• Second payment of €200 due after your J1 interview with us
• Final payment due once you’re hired and before we start your sponsorship application

What's not included

Flights

We don’t recommend booking flights until your visa is approved.

Travel after your J1

Talk to us about where you can go and what you can do.

US Embassy fee

This is paid directly to the US Embassy and currently costs USD $185 (+ an additional $105 for Australia passport holders.)

Support funds

You may be required to show proof that you can access USD $800.

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Loving your work

All our team have worked in the US

Not only that, but many of our team disappear on their J1 or camp each summer – returning to our Dublin HQ with fresh intel and inspo about working and travelling in the States. Good job!

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Book 'USIT Job' to apply

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Just some of our J1 jobs

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How do I get a J1 job in the USA?

Work chat

USIT Job

Let us handle it

Your J1 ride or die, we’ve hollered around this rodeo a few times. For 65+ years in fact, so it’s fair to say we have this whole job thing covered. Once you’ve paid your second instalment, you’ll get access to our Job Hub where you can start applying for jobs. We’ll give you an easy-to-use USA resume template, check it once you’ve added your qualifications and loaded it up to your account, and provide any feedback. We’ll then prep you for your job interview. Once hired, we’ll take over and start the process of applying for your sponsorship and sorting the visa paperwork for your embassy appointment. Jobs are filled on a first come first served basis, so if you have a city in mind or are wanting to work in the same city as your mates, apply early.

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Own Job

Go your own way

Howdy, lone ranger. If you’ve selected ‘Own Job’ then you’re responsible for finding your own job. Here’s some tips to help get the job done. 1. Start searching USA jobs online and reach out to employers. 2. Choose your location wisely... Travelling with friends? Pick larger cities more likely to have options for you all. 3. Update your CV to be more like an American style resume - tweak the language, layout and explain your Irish qualifications. 4. Get your references ready. US employers love 'em! And personalise every application to suit the role you're applying for. 5. Interview and get hired! From there, we'll help you take care of the boring bits like vetting your job, applying for your sponsorship and helping you sort your embassy appointment.

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Meet our Insiders!

The inside scoop on J1

Thinking about a summer J1, but need a feel for what it's actually like? Meet our USIT J1 Insiders - Xav, Aisling and Lisa. Our class of '23 Insiders did their J1s in New York, Florida and Nantucket - and will be popping up across our channels to share their experience and answer your questioms. Watch their first episodes here and follow @usittravel for more content, FAQs and takeovers.

The USIT blog

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Where to do your summer J1

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Travel Guide / USA

New York guide: Where to do your J1, Grad visa or US internship

USIT Staff

New York New York. So awesome, it got named twice. Here’s why you need it on your J1 or Grad USA radar.

Press play

J1 jobs Chicago

Shooting the breeze on their summer J1s from the Windy City, meet our USIT J1-ers. With tips on where to live, when to book and how to make friends.

Ask the experts

Book a call with USIT

Don’t call us, we’ll call you. All our USIT team have worked the world, so are here for real talk and authentic advice about where you can go and what you can do.

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More ways to make it in America

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We're going to need a bigger bucket...

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Events

© GenTAO Ltd trading as USIT is a company registered in Dublin, Ireland with Registered Company No. 670958 and registered address at 29-31 South William St, Dublin, Ireland, D02 EY96.