United States and Ireland sign three year extension to the Ireland Work and Travel (IWT) Program

Her Excellency, Ambassador of Ireland, Anne Anderson & Assistant Secretary Evan Ryan of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State signing the agreement

U.S. Embassy Dublin

Office of Public Affairs

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2016

On Monday, December 5, 2016 Assistant Secretary Evan Ryan of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State and Her Excellency, Ambassador of Ireland, Anne Anderson signed a three year extension, lengthening the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), for the twelve month Ireland Work and Travel (IWT) Program between the Government of the United States and the Government of Ireland.

The Ireland Work and Travel (IWT) program was first piloted in September 2008. Qualifying Irish nationals who are currently enrolled and pursuing studies at a degree or certificate granting post-secondary academic institution in Ireland, or graduated from such an institution within the previous 12 months may apply to this innovative reciprocal exchange program.  Qualifying students or recent graduates are eligible to participate in internships and travel independently for a period of up to 12 months. The Government of Ireland provides reciprocal opportunities for U.S. participants.

At this signing the IWT program will become a regular Private Sector program and no longer a pilot program.  This will enable additional sponsors to work with additional Irish participants on this program and also may create opportunities for more U.S. students to travel to Ireland under the reciprocal Work and Holiday (WHP) program.  1,300 Irish participants come to the United States under the Ireland Work and Travel program each year and work and live in communities across the U.S. Unlike other Exchange Visitor Programs, no pre-placement in employment is required for IWT participants.

Applicants must meet the following program eligibility requirements:

  • Be a citizen of Ireland.
  • Be a bona fide post-secondary college/university student (enrolled and participating) or a recent graduate. A recent graduate is defined as an Irish citizen who has graduated from a post-secondary college/university in their home country not more than 12 months prior to the start of their internship beyond graduation. The applicant must provide evidence from his/her post-secondary institution of student status or graduation.
  • Vocational students pursuing studies at a tertiary level accredited academic institution are not eligible for participation unless such vocational study is part of a structured program leading to a degree or other credential recognized as equivalent to Level VI of the Irish Higher Education System.
  • Provide proof of sufficient financial resources, prior to the issuance of a Form DS-2019, to support themselves throughout their exchange visitor program and for their return home.

At the December 5 signing, Assistant Secretary Evan Ryan of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State noted: “The Ireland Work and Travel program is an important manifestation of this valued relationship. It has greatly facilitated travel for U.S. and Irish student interns, thereby broadening their cultural exposure and providing for their participation in an entrepreneurial environment, which serves to enrich their long-term careers. May all those interns who come to the United States under the IWT program in the future, and all U.S. students who take advantage of the reciprocal opportunities offered by the Work and Holiday Program, encounter new and exciting experiences abroad.  I know that they will approach these opportunities with an inquisitive, informed, and open mind that will enhance their status as global citizens.”