Learning Exchange Program

Rian J-1 USA Internship

At the Rian Immigrant Center, we proudly sponsor the J-1 visa for current university students and recent graduates to complete an internship in the U.S. 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 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2019 graduates or 2020 final year students can email us at  j1iwt@riancenter.org to register your interest in coming on a J-1 visa once programs resume. 


Please Note: When the visa program reopens, eligibility will be based off of the date listed on your scroll, rather than by coursework end date. Depending on your scroll date, there may be an extension to the eligibility window so even if your date passes you may still be eligible.

We look forward to restarting our visa program and to help you have a fantastic year in the U.S!


Important Updates

Updated June 23, 2020

June 23, 2020: All new J-1 visa programs are suspended through December 31, 2020. This suspension will not affect current J-1 holders, however the travel ban to the US is still in place.


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 3,000 graduates and students since 2008.


What Our J-1s Had to Say

“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 … 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


J-1 Irish Work and Travel (graduate visa)

The IWT visa allows Irish citizens who graduated from Irish universities to travel to the U.S. prior to securing an internship. Through our internship search support we will assist interns by offering tips on networking, interviewing, resume building for U.S. companies, securing appropriate positions when available, and more

Learn more about the J-1 IWT visa program:

Program Eligibility Requirements

Information for Potential Employers

Internship Restrictions


J-1 Intern Program

Don’t have an Irish passport, or graduated from a university outside of Ireland? The J-1 intern program allows you take advantage of this opportunity, but requires securing a placement in advance of applying for the visa. Your position will be subject to the restrictions listed above.


J-1 Summer Support

Although the Rian Immigrant Center is not a sponsor of the J-1 summer visa, we offer support to students as they settle into Boston and navigate life and work in the US.


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. The US Government’s Department of State categorically requires all J-1 visa exchange visitors to return to their home country upon completion of their exchange program in order to share their exchange experiences. The J-1 program is an opportunity to gain international work experience for up to 12 months. This non-immigrant visa is not to be used for long-term stay in the U.S. or as a pathway to permanent status. All program applicants must sign a declaration stating of understanding acknowledging this.