Legal and Immigration

New 12 month Graduate Work Visa
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.

Program Administration
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 at http://exchanges.state.gov/jexchanges/ Interested individuals can contact designated sponsors for more information.

Participant Placement
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 organizations 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. (November 17, 2008)

Legal Referrals
The Center can provide legal referrals to a network of attorneys in a number of areas including immigration, personal litigation, criminal law, and family law.

Passports
US, Irish and English passport application forms are available at the Center. Once completed, Sr. Christine Hennessy of Catholic Charities, who is based here in the center is authorized to sign off passport application forms. We also have US Citizenship forms and Citizenship questions & answers available.

New Requirements for Irish Visitors travelling to the U.S. under Visa Waiver Program:

Go to https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/ for information and application access.

International travelers who are seeking to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program are now subject to enhanced security requirements. All eligible travelers who wish to travel under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for authorization at least 36 hours in advance of your departure date

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization performs checks against law enforcement databases. All travelers seeking admission to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program are required to obtain an electronic travel authorization using this system prior to being granted boarding.

If your electronic travel authorization application is approved, it establishes that you are eligible to travel, but does not establish that you are admissible to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. Upon arrival to the United States, you will be inspected by a United States Customs and Border Protection officer at a port of entry who may determine that you are inadmissible under the Visa Waiver Program or for any reason under United States law.

A determination that you are not eligible for electronic travel authorization does not preclude you from applying for a visa to travel to the United States.

All information provided by you, or on your behalf by a designated third party, must be true and correct. An electronic travel authorization may be revoked at any time and for any reason, such as new information influencing eligibility. You may be subject to administrative or criminal penalties if you knowingly and willfully make a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in an electronic travel authorization application submitted by you or on your behalf.

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