US Ambassador to Ireland Claire Cronin has encouraged Irish college students to apply for the 2023 J-1 visa program. 

The US Embassy in Dublin has opened interview appointment slots in February and March for J-1 summer work and travel visa applicants, and Cronin has encouraged anyone interested in the program to apply as soon as possible. 

Cronin said eligible students who are interested in the 2023 BridgeUSA Summer Work and Travel (SWT) or the Camp Counselor Program should be proactive in their applications. 

"The BridgeUSA program allows participants to immerse themselves in American life, culture, and society while pursuing their professional goals and building new networks," Cronin said in a statement.

"It is a launch pad for career advancement and a gateway to cross-cultural understanding, connecting people from around the world, including Ireland and the United States."

Cronin added: "There are many programs that I would encourage students to consider, such as the Summer Work and Travel, Camp Counselor Program, and the Intern Work and Travel program.

"I’ve met many Irish students who have participated in J-1 visa programs who greatly enjoyed their experience living and working in the United States." 

All prospective J-1 SWT and Camp Counselor participants must obtain a job offer before traveling to the United States and the US Embassy is advising anyone interested in the program to research their options as early as possible. 

Program dates for Irish participants are from May 15 through September 15, 2023.

Although interviews will continue into early June, demand is always high, and applicants should schedule an interview appointment as soon as they receive their DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility from their program sponsor.

A step-by-step guide on how to apply to the Exchange Visitor Program is available online here.