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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Varadkar and Coveney pushing to get J1 visa programme reinstalled for summer 2022

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney are both pushing the Biden administration to get the J1 visa programme reinstalled for next summer.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the programme was temporarily suspended, however, the impact of the situation resulted in the company that operates USIT Ireland, which deals with visa applications, going into liquidation.

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The popular programme saw over 3,000 people participate in it back in the summer of 2019.

As the United States will be lifting the travel ban in November, it is hoped that the J1 programme will return next summer.

Speaking to US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Varadkar raised the issue that the programme is highly valuable and not just about seasonal labour for US businesses or summer jobs for students.

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Depending on the public health situation, Raimondo expressed confidence in the idea that the programme may return next summer.

Coveney, who was recently in New York and Washington DC told The Journal that the resumption of the programme will “depend on the trajectory of the pandemic between now and then”.

He added, “For now we have to absolutely focus on the travel ban being lifted and making that a success. We will of course be keeping the work up on the J1,”.

During last week’s visit by Taoiseach Micheál Martin, US governor Kathy Hochul said that the message to travellers is that the Covid-19 rate in New York is low and that it’s open for business with museums, concerts and broadway all reopened.

In relation to Irish students returning next summer, she stated, “I would absolutely love to see them coming back next year.”

IMAGE – PA Images/”Simon Carbery Coveney” (CC BY 2.0) by EU2017EE

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