Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Questions (93)

Seán Haughey

Question:

93. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of students who participated in the J1 visa programme in each of the years 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53529/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The J1 visa programme, for Irish citizens to work and travel in the US, is managed by US-based sponsors and student travel agents in Ireland, under the authority of the Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State. All figures related to the J1 programme are maintained by US authorities.

Figures shared by the US Authorities with my Department laid out in tabular form below show data for the two most popular categories, the J1 “Summer Work and Travel” scheme and the “Camp Counsellor” scheme. Since 2011 uptake in the Camp Counsellor scheme has grown significantly, while the number of those taking part in the Summer Work and Travel programme has decreased. It should be noted that the numbers for 2019 are preliminary counts and as such, are subject to change.

Numbers

J1 Summer Work and Travel

J1 Camp Counsellor

2011

6,670

 549

2012

7,527

 616

2013

8,167

 637

2014

6,773

 918

2015

7,001

1,114

2016

4,347

1,384

2017

4,190

1,683

2018

3,530

1,665

2019 

3,392

1,673

Officials in my Department have met with the two largest J1 sponsors in Ireland, SAYIT and USIT, and have discussed the decline in the number of Irish citizens availing of the programme in recent years. Our Ambassador in Washington and his colleagues also regularly meet with the US-based sponsors to discuss encouragement of uptake of the programme.