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!


The program is temporarily suspended for new applications for the remainder of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are preparing to open for 2021 later in this year!  2020 graduates and current final year students can join our wait list here


2020 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

Don’t have an Irish passport, or graduated from a university outside of Ireland and you are a citizen of Northern Ireland? Then you would be eligible for the J-1 Intern visa program. 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 2020 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