Eligibility

In order to be eligible for the Professional Career Training programme you must:

  • Be at least 20 years old
  • Have a degree or higher qualification from a recognised Irish third level institution and at least 12 months of full time work experience in your qualified field outside of the USA.

Or

  • If you do not have any third level qualification, you must have at least 5 years of professional career experience in your field of expertise.
  • If you are not an Irish citizen, but you have completed your entire third level education in Ireland and have at least 12 months of full time work experience in your qualified field outside of the USA, you may be eligible - (please email your details to internshipusa@usit.ie for further clarification)
  • Secure a trainee position within a US Company that is related to your field of study/expertise, but does not replicate any of your previous training/work experience.
  • If you are an Irish citizen, but you hold a college qualification from the UK and have at least 12 months of full time work experience in your qualified field outside of the USA, you may be eligible for the Professional Career Training - (please email your details to internshipusa@usit.ie for further clarification)

Previous J-1 Visa Holders

If you have previously participated on a summer J1, you can apply for the Professional Career Training programme provided you fulfill the requirements listed above.

If you have previously participated in the 12 Month USA Work or Internship USA visa programmes, you can apply for the Professional Career Training programme provided you fulfill the requirements listed above. However, you must leave the USA for at least 2 years since the completion of your US Internship programme before you can begin your traineeship in the US. There are no exceptions made to this rule.

If you have previously participated on the Professional Career Training programme, you can apply for the programme again, but you must leave the USA for at least 2 years from the expiry of your visa, before you can re-enter as a trainee again.

Please Note: Your visa is issued at the discretion of the US Embassy/Consulate and USIT cannot accept liability should you not be granted a visa. If you are refused a visa, please be aware that full cancellation fees will apply

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Flights

Flights must be booked with USIT as part of your programme. They are not included in the fee but must be booked before your embassy interview in order to receive your DS-2019 (please note you cannot sit your interview without this document, so book your flights sooner rather than later!). Bear in mind USIT cannot guarantee your application will be approved by CIEE (the partner organization in the US that issues your documents) or by the US embassy when you sit your interview. USIT will book you the most flexible flight available to avoid any disappointment should you need a flight change.

Return Evidence

All applicants for the Professional Career Training programme must have sufficient return evidence in order to be approved by the US Embassy. Return evidence can be a letter from your an Irish employer stating that when you return from the US there will be a job available for you. If you hold a property deed for an Irish property this will also be accepted in some cases.

Under no circumstances should this visa be used as a stepping stone to stay in the US for a longer period of time. If you give any indication to USIT, CIEE, or the US Embassy/Consulate that this is your intention your application will likely be rejected without appeal.

Please note, all return evidence is adjudicated on case by case bases so we can not guarantee the above suggestions will definitely be accepted.  It is the participant's responsibility to convince the US Embassy/Consulate Official that they will abide by the regulations of the programme and return to Ireland at the end of their visa.

Unskilled jobs

Unfortunately some industries fall under the category of 'Unskilled Occupations' or Prohibited J-1 Jobs as specified by the US Department of State. This means that even if you have 5 years of professional experience within a field that is deemed unskilled by the US Department of State, you would not be eligible for the programme. Please note that at present this includes Common Labourers - e.g. carpenters, plumbers, electricians etc List of Unskilled Occupations