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Recent graduates: is America calling you?

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019 4:34pm

Did you graduate from college or university in 2018? Maybe you're considering spending the next few months or years travelling?

There are many options open to Irish passport holders to live and work further afield. Apart from Europe, we’ve several bilateral visa agreements open to us with countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the US. To get a visa for Canada, it’s relatively straightforward and you have until the age of 35 to use this versatile two-year visa option.

The same can be said for Australia and New Zealand where you can go up until the age of 35 years old and 30 years old respectively.

The US is however, different. The work visa options open to Irish people are more restrictive. Apart from the J1 Summer work and travel visa, there is just one other option to spend any significant amount of time working in the USA which is the 1 Year Graduate USA Visa.

This programme allows third level graduates and students the opportunity to spend one year working and travelling in the US. All participants of this visa must activate their visa within 12 months of finishing college.

Once in the US, you have 90 days to secure a job and it must be related to your field of study. This may seem like an inconvenience but American work experience is often revered as some of the best in the world, so graduates who do make the leap and take advantage of this visa can find it very easy in securing a job when they come back to Ireland. The experience on your CV can be unrivalled when compared to those who might have carried out grad programmes or grad schemes closer to home.

Because of the rule where you must work in your field of study on this visa, it forces you to gain experience you might not get in Canada or in Australia. Often graduates who head out down under tend to get more causal more jobs and put off getting their foot on the career ladder, whereas with the graduate USA visa you can’t do that. You have to throw yourself in the deep end, so it can be the perfect bridge from college to career.

For last year’s graduates, time is running out to secure your place as the deadline for 2018 grads is 31 March of this year!

Traditionally, graduates were eligible for this visa for up to one year after graduation. The terms of the visa changed last year however, changing the deadline to one year from the end of your coursework, usually May. It takes up to six weeks to process the visa, so it must be secured before that point. Many grads don’t realise this and leave the application process to the last minute.

To guarantee your eligibility for the visa, you must apply by to USIT by 31 March. Australia, Canada and New Zealand will be there for a few more years so don’t regret not using this one year visa for the USA. You won’t get the chance again. Go to USIT.ie to find out more.

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