From Failte 32 email/Newsletter 11/7/10 – Eligible Job Positions in Restaurants, Bars, Hotels, etc. Under J1 Visa Program…..

The purpose of this series of articles is try to flesh out all eligible employment options under the scheme. Although we have discussed these options with the appropriate agencies, and believe they satisfy J-1 eligibility requirements in certain cases, we recommend that you seek the advice of your J-1 counselor before pursuing any of the employment options discussed in our articles. We believe that both the stringent eligibility criteria, and the lack of an exhaustive list of eligible employment options, has been an impediment to the uptake of the J1 visa program. has researched the eligibility criteria for the one year J1 program with a view to communicating to J1 visa holders (particularly those still finding it difficult to find employment relating to their field of study) eligible employment options they may have overlooked. Generally speaking, to be eligible for a J1 visa, one has to apply for a visa within a year of having graduated, find employment within their field of study, and can only have one employer during the term of the J1 visa.

What we have noticed is that there are many jobs currently being offered in the hospitality (restaurant, hotel, bar, etc.) industry. These business fields, like most others, have departments such as accounting, marketing, etc. that we believe can serve as appropriate J1 visa working environments to graduates in business, marketing, PR, etc. What’s important, therefore, is that J1 visa holders seeking employment focus on those industries that offer the greatest potential of employment, and target, within relevant businesses, the job functions that will satisfy J1 eligibility.

During the Summer, for example, Paul Hurley, owner of O’Casey’s, very kindly offered a Summer J1 visa holder a job in one of his restaurants, in an accounting role. Had this student been on the one year J1 visa program and held an accounting degree, then based on our research, he would have satisfied the J1 visa criteria.

The hospitality industry may not be a J1 visa holder’s first choice, but it might offer a realistic alternative to finding no job at all under the J1 visa program. It is important that existing and potential J1 visa holders become aware of this option, so that they do not limit themselves to looking for employment in industries with stagnant or even shrinking employment prospects.

Although Failte 32 would like to see one year J1 visa holders find employment in other industries, and we will make every effort to accommodate this, many J1 visa holders are finding it difficult to find employment in their specialized fields, and are nearing 3 months in the US; so, it is imperative that they find appropriate employment asap.

Employers, when hiring J1 visa holders, will be asked to fill out a fairly basic form DS7002, stating the function in their organization within which the visa holder will be employed, as this document is the basis upon which satisfaction of eligibility criteria is determined as it relates to employment.

Therefore, first, we want to highlight this option to J1 visa holders, particularly those having a hard time finding employment in their industry of choice, and who run the risk of exceeding the time limit imposed upon them by the J1 visa program for finding employment in their field of study.

Second, we are asking employers in restaurants, bars, hotels, etc. to consider hiring J1 visa holders in functions such as marketing, business development, etc. which can potentially have a significant impact on their bottom lines, particularly since they now have access to an oversupply of excellent graduate talent from Ireland, and can hire them at competitive wage/salary levels.

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