This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 17 °C Monday 3 August, 2020

Employer sponsorship proposal 'could wipe out' J1 visas

Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly says that the proposal that students getting a J1 need to have their employer sponsor them won’t work.

A PROPOSAL THAT employers who take on Irish students on a J1 visa pay fees to the US government has been criticised by an Irish MEP.

In an interview with Karen Coleman of, Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly said that the proposal is that companies in America should sponsor J1 visa applicants for $500.

He continued:

Now this is first of all unfair and secondly it is unworkable. Because most of the students going out wouldn’t even have jobs before they go out; they are dependent on people outside they might know.

He said that in particular, GAA clubs would find jobs for people on J1 visas, and “often the job might be one month here and one month there, part-time and so forth but they are all happy out with it”.

If this is introduced it is going to be most unfair, we had over 7000 students who went to the US last year and it would more or less wipe it out overnight.

According to the proposed bill, the government would collect fees including:

Mitigation fees collected from employers who employ aliens described in section 101(a)(15)(J) of the Immigration and Nationality Act… through the Summer Work Travel Program.

The US Senate committee opened its debate on the immigration reform bill backed by President Barack Obama in early May. If passed, it would lead to legal status for millions of people without papers in the country.

Yesterday, the union representing US Citizenship and Immigration Services employees said that measures in the Bill would “damage public safety and national security and should be opposed by lawmakers”.

There are an estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish immigrants in the United States who are ineligible for social security but can’t return home to Ireland as if they do they could be barred from re-entering the US.

Read: Blow to hopes of illegal Irish as immigration officers slam bill>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

Read next: