Learning Exchange Program

Rian J-1 USA Internship

At the Rian Immigrant Center, we proudly sponsor the J-1 visa, allowing current Irish university students and recent graduates to complete an internship in the U.S. for 12 months. As a welcome center, our role is not only to sponsor your visa and create a pathway to an engaging year in the US, but to provide support and guidance throughout every step of the process. The Rian J-1 visa offers the unique opportunity to gain unparalleled experience in your field of study, launching the career you have dreamed of!


April 6, 2021 – The J1 visa suspension (Presidential Proclamation 10052) has expired. However geographic COVID-19-related Presidential Proclamations 9984, 9992, and 10143, which suspend entry into the United States of foreign nationals who have been physically present in the People’s Republic of China, Islamic Republic of Iran, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa in the 14-day period before seeking entry into the United States, remain in effect.  

 We are planning a restart for new visas dated from October 1st, i.e. applicants with graduation scroll dates of October 1st 2020 or later. Sadly this means that anyone with a graduation scroll date before October 1st 2020 will not be able to apply with Rian J1. Note: this date could be extended depending on how these issues develop in the coming months.   

The quicker the COVID-19 pandemic clears, travel restrictions ease and U.S. Embassy activity increases the quicker the visa program can get back to normal. 

If you wish to join our J-1 visa program for 2021 or 2022, and you have not already registered your interest, then please do so now.  Students (with placement pre-set), and graduates with scroll dates from October 1st 2020 and beyond, can register your interest here


Sponsorship Fee Refund Policy


About our Program

The Rian Immigrant Center is a U.S. Department of State designated visa sponsor for the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa program. Irish citizens and international students who are current students or recent graduates of Irish universities, can intern in the U.S. in their field of study for up to 12 months to gain experience and enhance their future career and academic pursuits. The Rian Immigrant Center has since supported more than 2,500 graduates and students since 2008.

We sponsor eligible applicants for the following types of visas:

J-1 Irish Work and Travel (Graduate Visa)

For Irish citizens who graduated from Irish universities, the IWT visa allows for travel to the U.S. without having secured an internship in advance. It is a work-based learning experience for you to advance your skills in your field of study. Throughout the internship search process, we will assist interns by offering tips on networking, interviewing, resume building for U.S. companies, securing appropriate positions when available, and more.

J-1 Intern Visa

You may be eligible – if you studied at an Irish University but don’t have an Irish passport, or if you do have an Irish passport but graduated from a university outside of Ireland. This program allows you to travel to the US for 12 months as well, but requires securing a placement in advance of applying for the visa. Your position will be subject to the restrictions listed above.


Please Note: When the visa program resumes, eligibility will be based off of the date listed on your scroll, offering a longer window of eligibility to travel. Have questions about our programs? Please email us at j1iwt@riancenter.org 

We look forward to resuming our visa program to provide a fantastic year in the U.S- Join our wait list here!


 Learn more about the J-1 IWT visa program:

Program Eligibility Requirements

Information for Potential Employers

Internship Restrictions


J-1 Intern Program Purpose & Policy Regarding Mandatory Return to Ireland Upon Completion

The J-1 visa programs are US public diplomacy programs designed to foster global understanding through cultural exchange visits. This visa is an opportunity to gain international work experience for up to 12 months. As a non-immigrant visa, the J-1 is not to be used for long-term stay in the U.S. as declared by the Department of State. All program applicants will be required to sign a declaration of understanding that you are applying for a J-1 Visa, which is not a pathway to permanent status in the United States.


J-1 Intern Program with Ulster University

Currently paused for the 2021 calendar year due to COVID-19

In partnership with Ulster University, Rian provides international internship opportunities for third-year students with top U.S. employers across multiple sectors. As their visa sponsor, we provide constant support for students throughout their stay in the U.S. For more information about this program, click here.

J-1 Summer Support

Currently paused for the 2021 calendar year due to COVID-19

Although the Rian Immigrant Center is not a sponsor of the J-1 SummerWork & Travel visa, we offer support to students as they settle into Boston and navigate life and work in the US. Please reach out to take advantage of these services


What Rian Immigrant Center’s J-1’s Are Saying

“If I didn’t have this wonderful Center with the incredible people who work there, my experience would’ve been completely different. The support and encouragement, from the first time I walked into the office and throughout my year was truly immense. I will always be so grateful to the Rian Immigrant Center, it’s like being part of a big family who are there for you every step of the way.”

— Rebekah Richmond, 2019/2020

Computing Technologies, University of Ulster

“The J-1 IWT program is by far the best opportunity for graduates who want to gain vital work experience and go on a life-changing adventure. My J-1 IWT program to San Diego, California provided me with professional and personal development that was unparalleled to any other option.”

— Christopher Dixon-O’Mara, 2016

Masters in Energy and Environmental Policy, University College Dublin

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