Twelve-Month Intern Work and Travel Pilot Program
Guidelines for Administration of the Intern Work and Travel Pilot Program with Ireland
The Department of State is pleased to announce that on September 22, 2008 the Government of Ireland and the Government of the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the Intern Work and Travel (IWT) Pilot Program. This innovative reciprocal exchange program will be conducted as a five year pilot program under which qualifying Irish post-secondary college/university students and recent graduates will enter the United States to participate in internships and travel independently for a period of up to 12 months. The Government of Ireland will provide reciprocal opportunities for U.S. participants. The IWT Pilot Program became effective on October 31, 2008.
The IWT Pilot Program will be conducted under the existing Intern category of the Exchange Visitor Program, unless otherwise noted below.
Citizens of Ireland traveling to the United States to participate in the IWT Pilot Program will do so under the Department’s existing Intern category regulations (22 CFR 62.22), and applicable sponsor program rules, with the exception of participant placement. The Form DS-2019 issued to an IWT participant should reflect this information in the Subject/Field Code Remarks Box which will print on the Form (e.g. IWT Pilot participant). No extension of program beyond the 12-month maximum program duration will be permitted.
A current list of designated sponsors for the Intern category is available on our web site at http://j1visa.state.gov/sponsors/.
Interested individuals can contact designated sponsors for more information.
For this Pilot Program, Form DS-7002, Training/Internship Placement Plan, is not required for the purpose of the visa application as participants may enter the United States without regard to preplacement. Sponsors will be responsible for completing the Form DS-7002 when participants advise them of their internship location.
Screening and Selection of Participants
Screening and selection of participants is the responsibility of designated sponsors and may be conducted by the sponsor or in cooperation with the sponsor’s overseas partners/agents. All participants must be interviewed either in-person, by web camera/videoconferce, or by telephone and must meet the following program eligibility requirements:
- Be a citizen of Ireland.
- Be a bona fide post-secondary college/university student (enrolled and participating) or a recent graduate. A recent graduate is defined as an Irish citizen who has graduated from a post-secondary college/university in their home country not more than 12 months prior to the start of their internship beyond graduation. The applicant must provide evidence from his/her post-secondary institution of student status or graduation.
- Vocational students pursuing studies at a tertiary level accredited academic institution are not eligible for participation unless such vocational study is part of a structured program leading to a degree or other credential recognized as equivalent to Level VI of the Irish Higher Education System.
- Provide proof of sufficient financial resources, prior to the issuance of a Form DS-2019, to support themselves throughout their exchange visitor program and for their return home.
- Not be accompanied by spouse or dependents.
Monitoring of Participants and Participant Support
Within 10 days of arrival in the United States, interns are required to notify the sponsor of their arrival, their U.S. residential address, and confirm the commencement of their program or job search. After receiving the participants’ information, the sponsor must validate the participant’s SEVIS record within 30 days from the program begin date and reflect the participant’s current U.S. address (residence) and primary site of activity (internship location).
Sponsors shall continue to contact participants and host rganizations every 60 days thereafter throughout the duration of their participation in the sponsor’s program.
Sponsors shall promptly update SEVIS with any changes of U.S. address or approved changes of the site of activity.
Sponsors are to "End the Program for EV" of a participant who leaves the program (without incident) prior to the expiration of the Program End Date reflected on the Form DS-2019 by entering an effective date of completion. This will ensure that the participant is not negatively impacted.
Program terminations are to continue to be completed as stipulated by the regulations.