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Ban on J1 and other US work visas extended for further three months

US President Donald Trump has extended a ban on some foreign work visas, including the J1, until ...
Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

15.32 2 Jan 2021


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Ban on J1 and other US work vi...

Ban on J1 and other US work visas extended for further three months

Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

15.32 2 Jan 2021


Share this article


US President Donald Trump has extended a ban on some foreign work visas, including the J1, until the end of March.

The outgoing President added an extra three months to the ban to protect American jobs during the pandemic.

The suspension of nonimmigrant visas to the US had initially been due to expire on December 31st following an executive order made in June.

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The ban covers visas popular with Irish people seeking to work in the US, such as the J1 and H-1B.

In 2019, 3,000 people here took part in the J1 summer programme, which allows third-level students to work in the US legally for up to four months.

Additionally, many students choose to undertake the J1 'graduate visa' programme which allows them to work in the States for a year up to 12 months after they graduate.

Incoming US President Joe Biden has previously indicated that he will undo many of Mr Trump's orders, but his transition team has not yet commented on whether or when the pandemic-related visa ban will be lifted.

Mr Trump said in his June proclamation that allowing foreigners to come to the US under some nonimmigrant visas "posed a risk of displacing and disadvantaging United States workers during the economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak".

In announcing the extension until March 31st, he said that the effects of the pandemic on the US labour market "and on the health of American communities is a matter of ongoing national concern".

J1 programmes

USIT, which oversees the J1 process in Ireland, has opened its summer programme for 2021.

However, its one-year graduate visa programme for 2021 is currently "on hold at the moment".

The company has told interested graduates that they are expecting more clarity from the US State Department "in a few months’ time".

Due to COVID-19, entry into the States is restricted for non-US nationals travelling from Ireland, the UK, Schengen Area countries, Brazil, China and Iran.

Main image: American and Irish flags fly in Washington DC in 2018. Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

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