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In Doubt

US embassy working to help J1 students affected by visa issue

There are issues with one programme and its US sponsor, with students being told their permits would not be ready on time.

THE UNITED STATES embassy has said it is working to ensure all eligible J1 students are able to participate in the programme this year, after a visa processing issue left the fate of some in doubt.

The embassy said it became aware of issues with the processing of applications of dozens of Irish students who had applied for the programme with Travel Bug and their US sponsor American Work Adventures.

The Irish Times reports Travel Bug blamed the sponsor company for the failure to secure work permits on time for students, many of whom have paid out almost €800 already.

“We are engaging with a number of independent US sponsors to ensure that affected Irish students who are eligible and qualified to participate in the J1 program this year have every opportunity to do so,” the embassy said in a statement.

Changes to the programme this year meant students had to provide evidence of a pre-arranged job in the US as part of their application.

Since February, thousands of Irish applicants have secured jobs across the United States for the 2016 season and received their J1 visas, removing the uncertainty associated with securing accommodation and employment on the ground.

To accommodate affected students, those who apply for and are granted visas between 23 May and 17 June will be able to collect them within two working days of their interviews, the embassy said.

Are you a J1 student who’s been affected by this issue? Contact to share your story. 

Read: Students still in a ‘mad rush’ to do J1s in America despite strict new rules>

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