The Grad USA program is offered by GenTAO Ltd trading as USIT (the “Company”) and supported by a regulated US State Department sponsor. The Company acts as an international representative for the Visa sponsor (“the sponsor”). The program is designed to support participants to complete the steps required to obtain a DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document) form which permits them to apply for a J1 Intern Work Travel Visa (the “J1”) which is issued separately by the US Embassy and to have an internship approved by the visa sponsor.
The ethos of this program is to gain experience in your field of study and bring that experience home to Ireland to share with your countrymen. This is an internship program and any position you take must be an internship. The training you receive in your position will be directly related to your field of study and will be progressive - i.e. will clearly be developing your skills and knowledge
By joining the program you are bound by the company’s general terms and conditions which are listed HERE.
1. PROGRAMME INCLUSIONS
All customers will receive: eligibility screening, career advice, J1 visa assistance and DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document), in-country support, and internship vetting by visa sponsor. Full program inclusions are listed HERE.
2. PROGRAMME COSTS AND PAYMENTS
The below table shows the payment schedule and what is included during each phase of the application for a first-timer:
You arrange a call with a member of our team. You let us know when you’d like to travel and complete your Beacon application and submit your insurance.
The visa sponsor reviews your application. You start looking for internship opportunities.
USIT post your documents and you book and attend your US Embassy interview. You receive a DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document) and guidance on how to apply for a J1 visa.
What fees will you need to pay to third parties?
- Insurance policy (travel and medical)
- A police check if required
- US Embassy fee
- Travel to and from the US embassy
- Return flights
- Transport from the airport once you arrive in the USA
- Proof of funds (you must be able to show proof that you have at least $3000 in support funds when you arrive in the USA)
- Spending money
Regardless of the circumstances, we are unable to refund any of these fees.
3. TRANSFERRING OR CHANGING YOUR BOOKING
The first deposit is transferable to any Company program before you submit your second deposit and your application has been sent to the Sponsor for vetting and approval. After your second deposit has been submitted and your application has been submitted to CIEE, both your deposits will be considered as used and therefore be non-transferable.
Your deposit is protected for life, however, is not transferable to another person. Your DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document) must be printed with your correct name, date of birth, place and country of birth. It is your responsibility to provide details on all application forms that exactly match your passport. The DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document )replacement cost, due to misinformation or loss by the applicant is €75.
4. PROGRAM CANCELLATION
Cancellations requests will not be acted on until written confirmation by email has been received by the Company. If a DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document) has been issued it must be returned to the Company before any refunds are given.
Program Deposit - The €299 program deposit is a non-refundable fee unless your application is rejected by the Company before your application is submitted to the visa sponsor, in which case you will be refunded minus a €25 administration fee. Your program will be considered cancelled if you request to withdraw, do not engage with your application or respond to the Company’s communications or are not able to continue with the program giving rise to your requesting to withdraw.
Cancellations are calculated based on the stage where your application is at.
BELOW ARE THE LISTED STAGES AND CANCELLATION FEE’S:
- If you are rejected at the interview: €25
- Before application submitted to sponsor: €299
- After application is submitted to the sponsor but before a DS-2019 is issued: €598
- Your Visa is refused by the US Embassy: € 598
- After DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document) is issued: €1,999 (no refund)
The Company is not liable for and cannot refund third party costs including: police checks, travel costs, medical costs, US Embassy and visa costs under any circumstances.
If you have not activated or submitted your Graduate Visa application within 3 months of deposit, your application will be marked as dormant and withdrawn from the programme. Regular cancellation fees will apply.
J-1 Intern Work Travel Visa Eligibility
- Any internship position paid or unpaid must be a minimum of 32 hours per week.
- You are not permitted to begin working until the visa sponsor has approved your internship
- Your internship must be a bona fide internship - not filling a labour need but progressing in your own career development
- Any unskilled/entry level work can incorporate no more than 20% of your overall internship experience e.g., general clerical duties within an office environment. (10% for hospitality)
- The company/organisation you work for must hold workers compensation insurance that covers interns
- You must be constantly supervised and regularly evaluated
- Your company must have 5 full time employees to every intern/ trainee
- Your internship cannot be a remote working position
- You normally have 90 days to secure your internship placement within your field of study and 30-days in between internships
VISA SUPPORT FUNDS: $3000USD
USA J-1 Visas are issued at the discretion of the US Embassy and the US Embassy can change visa application processes at any time. You are responsible for submitting a correct and complete visa application on time. You may experience delays or a denial if you:
- Have a caution, been arrested or convicted of a crime, have previously experienced US visa/immigration problems or overstayed a visit to the US. You must inform the Company in writing if any of these statuses apply to you at the beginning of the application. Failure to declare such issues resulting in visa denial will result in a 100% cancellation fee.
- All applicants must present their documents in person at the US Embassy.
- The US Embassy will hold your passport until processing has been completed. Do not book any travel abroad during the visa application stage.
- Average processing time for J1 visa applications with the US consulate is 10-15 business days but may take longer. The US Embassy will not prioritise or ‘fast track’ any visa applications. The company cannot be held responsible for any delays to your application at the embassy.
- Do not book your US embassy interview until you have been told to book your interview by the Company
- Wait until you have received confirmation of your visa appointment from the US Embassy before booking transport to your interview.
US Embassy appointments
It is the responsibility of the participant to book, and pay for, their US embassy appointment. Whilst we will send participants their DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document) and a visa instructions document, it is the sole responsibility of the participant to book and attend an interview at the US embassy in time for your anticipated DS start date. Any fees associated with booking the embassy appointment are paid for by the participant. Under no circumstances can we refund payments that were made directly to the US embassy.
Every visa applicant must prove to the US embassy that they have sufficient ties to Ireland and have set plans to return to Ireland after their visa ends in the USA. If the US embassy feels that you are using the programme as a stepping stone to stay in the USA, or that there is potential for you to remain in the USA after your visa ends, they will reject your application and their decision will be final.
What is outlined as acceptable return evidence for the embassy are some of the following:
- A letter from college confirming that you will be returning to complete/further your academic studies
- A letter from an Irish employer that is on headed paper with contact details stating that they will offer you a job upon your return from the US or that they will consider you for a position should one be available when you return
This is mandatory for all applicants – failure to have this will lead to rejection and all return evidence is judged on a case-by-case basis by the embassy so the Company cannot guarantee what will be accepted.
The US Embassy will hold an applicant’s passport for a minimum of 5 working days for processing of Visa after Interview. It is at the discretion of the US Embassy to hold a passport and application for longer than the above minimum if extra processing is required. The Company, the Sponsor and the US Embassy will not be held responsible for any delays, and subsequent fees incurred due to delays/ extra processing at the US Embassy Interview stage. Under no circumstances can a passport be requested back from the US Embassy quicker than the standard processing times laid out above.
Availability of visa appointments is at the discretion of the US embassy in the country you are applying from. The company does not guarantee your ability to apply for or attend a US embassy appointment.
DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document)
- Only one original physical copy of your DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document) will be issued at any time by the Sponsor and this is the only valid version.
- If you lose or damage your DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document) a new valid version must be issued by the Sponsor and you will be required to cover the costs of issuance and delivery.
- If you lose or damage your DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document) please contact the Company at the earliest opportunity.
- Your DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document) must be kept with your passport whilst in the USA.
- If you forget or lose your DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document) you may be denied entry to the US or may invalidate your visa and be at risk of deportation. The company are not responsible if immigration deny entry or propose deportation due to insufficient documentation.
- You will be responsible for any additional costs incurred reissuing documentation.
- The Company does not keep a copy of your DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document), and you may be asked to present it during any future applications to visit or work in the USA.
- The Company aims to assist you with your arrival to America before your contract start date but is not responsible for delays caused by yourself, the US Embassy, the postal service or the courier company.
Approval of your visa does not guarantee you entry in to the USA. You will still need to be granted access by the border control agents.
The Company is not responsible for any applications held for additional processing or refused by the US Embassy or any disrupted travel plans due to visa processing delays.
The Company is unable to provide refunds paid to the US Embassy under any circumstances.
6. ADDITIONAL PROGRAM DOCUMENTATION AND FEES
To participate in the Grad USA program you will incur additional third-party fees which are outlined in section 2.
Flights are not included as part of the program and you will be responsible for booking them. You should not arrange travel until you have been issued a J1 Intern Work Travel visa. You must provide your booked travel information to the Company at least 72 hours before you intend to fly.
The applicant agrees that we will not be held responsible for any costs incurred if a flight change needs to be made. Examples of this include, but not limited to, visa delays, placement cancellations or extra processing by the US embassy.
Applicants must enter the USA and activate their visa no later than 20 days after their DS2019 start date. If you need to change your visa dates, it is your responsibility to contact the Company as soon as possible to arrange new work papers. Requesting new work papers can take between 7-10 business days.
It is your responsibility to ensure you are insured with appropriate travel insurance for your entire period of stay outside of Ireland. You must be insured for minimum levels below:
- Medical expenses min €3,000,000
- Personal accident min €40,000
- Repatriation and medical evacuation is adequate and provided for the insured within the above medical expenses limit.
- Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $10,000,000.
- A deductible (amount payable by you) not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
Please note: before committing to an insurance company, you should make sure you fully understand how you should go about using their services when in the USA i.e., do they have a counterpart in the US that you should contact if you become ill, or what is the procedure you should follow if you need to see a doctor or you go to casualty. It is very important that you understand how to use the services of the policy as these matters will be between you and the insurance company. You must contact the Company to discuss alternative insurance before booking as the Company and your visa sponsor can only approve certain insurance policies.
If you travel against DFA travel advice, most insurance policies will become null and void. You must confirm this with your insurance provider before leaving Ireland.
You may not remain in the USA uninsured. Please check the dates on your insurance policy for information on exactly how long you can remain in the USA.
Insurance must be valid for the full duration of your visa including the 30 day grace period allowed either side. If you request a change of visa dates you will also be required to submit a new insurance policy to match your new visa dates before your new papers can be issued.
9. JOB SUPPORT
- It is up to the participant to find their own internship position; it is recommended you do research on the area you are travelling to, to ensure you are travelling to an area where internship placements are readily available in your field of study.
- Although you do not need to have an internship organised before you travel to the USA on this program, the Company recommend that you try your best to arrange a position that is related to your field of study and expand your contacts before you travel to give yourself the best chance of success on the program. You have 90 days to find a position in the USA and submit it to the visa sponsor for their approval. If you do not secure a position related to your field within 90 days of your arrival, you will have to return to Ireland.
- For participants availing of job assistance, we do not guarantee any job locations in the USA. We will make available to all participants who avail of job assistance a job interview with an American employer but make no guarantee that you will receive an interview, or job, in your preferred location.
- Please also note, by signing up to a J1 job interview through your online account, there is no guarantee that you will be hired. Hiring is at the sole discretion of the employer.
- It is up to each participant who has availed of job assistance to apply for an interview for their American job through the employer database released to them once their application materials have been received by and fully processed by the J1 program team. We do not allocate interviews to participants, you must sign up for an interview yourself. All job interviews listed on the jobs database are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Internships that are hosted at foreign embassies or consulates located within the geographic united states will not be permitted.
10. YOUR GRAD PROGRAM
- All applicants are required to read their Visa sponsors participant handbook pre-departure. This contains all the necessary information you need to register for SEVIS and apply for a Social Security number when you arrive in to the USA.
- All travel before, during and after the Programme is at the applicant’s own risk. Any applicant who chooses to operate motorized vehicles is responsible for obtaining the necessary license, permission and insurance and does so at their own risk.
- The applicant understands that when accepting an internship with an employer, they agree to do their best, abide by the terms of the job offer, to comply with the employer’s rules and company policies
- Under no circumstances are internships guaranteed. Even for internships sourced through the Company, under no circumstances are internships guaranteed. Even in the case when an employer represents that an internship is being held, this does not constitute a binding contract that the internship will be available when the applicant arrives. The employer’s commitment is one of good faith only.
- It is the participant's responsibility to ensure they check the details of the contract of employment, to research availability of suitable housing in the location of work and ensure they are satisfied with all conditions outlined in the employment contract. The Company are not liable for any issues that may arise on matters deemed to be the responsibility of the participant.
- The applicant will inform us immediately if their planned date of entry to the US changes forwards or backwards. A change in your arrival date may require a change in the DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document); if applicable, the applicant agrees to pay the DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document) replacement & reissue fees involved.
- If you choose to travel to the USA up to 30 days before your DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document) start date, please note the following:
- You cannot register your details with SEVIS until your DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document)start date.
- You cannot apply for a social security number until your DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document) start date (and at least 5 days after registering with SEVIS).
During your placement
- The participant understands that neither the Company or the visa sponsor are to be held responsible for any difficulties with participants receiving their Social Security Numbers/Cards, and any expenses incurred due to delays arising from the above.
- If, during the program, the participant encounters any difficulties with Social Security, safety, health, the job, housing, including charges or fees for housing, sanitary conditions, overcrowding, etc. or any other problem, the participant must notify the visa sponsor as soon as possible.
- Participants are required to comply with all US laws while inside the United States. If a participant violates any US law, the visa sponsor reserves the right to revoke their legal sponsorship, which will result in the withdrawal or termination of their program. A terminated participant also loses their legal right to remain in the US Employment or Job-Related Conditions
- The applicant must agree to behave ethically and responsibly while in the USA. They understand that their DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document) can be cancelled at the discretion of the visa sponsor if they behave in a way that is in violation of the program rules or can be deemed unethical.
- All program participants agree to abide by the program conditions, including financial requirements, and to return to Ireland at the end of the program. Furthermore, the participant recognizes the importance of sharing their cultural experience with their home country.
- The applicant is responsible for reading and carefully considering all materials made available that relate to safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural and religious customs and conditions in the US. Each applicant must take full responsibility in the event that laws, regulations, or customs are broken, regardless of foreknowledge.
- Participants should note that they are not, under any circumstances, permitted to travel to the Tijuana metropolitan area in Mexico.
- Please note that the 12 month visa cannot be extended under any circumstances.
- If you choose to stay in the USA up to 30 days after your visa and DS-2019 (visa sponsorship document) end, please note the following:
- You may not work in any capacity during this period – these 30 days are for travel purposes only.
- You cannot leave the continental USA and re-enter during this period as your visa will have expired. If you travel outside of the USA during this time, you will not be able to return without a valid visa. You will have to return to Ireland in this instance.
- If you wish to travel outside the US during your 12 month visa, it is your responsibility to inform the Sponsor and have your DS2019 stamped and signed prior to departure from the USA.
Any dispute or claim against the sponsor will be subject to the sponsor agreement, and may be exclusively arbitrated in a specific location within the USA. I know of no reason why I may be refused a visa (e.g. have been arrested or convicted of a crime; have applied to migrate to the US; previously experienced US visa/immigration problems; or have overstayed on a previous visit). If I suspect that I may have problems, I will disclose these reasons in writing to the J1 team. If a visa is refused for reasons previously undisclosed, no refund will be given.