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Immigration and J1 Students

Irish citizens – in the event of an emergency, please contact the Irish Consulate @ 212-319-2555

Passports

The passport application is now fully online, with paper applications no longer being accepted. The application for both renewals and first time applicants can be accessed here. Passport Online is a fast and simple way to apply for your passport. If you are an adult renewing your passport with the same information, you normally won’t need to submit any supporting documents. If you are a first time applicant, renewing for a child, or changing the information on your passportPassport Online will e-mail you a list of documents which you need to submit directly to the Passport Service in Ireland. Please check your email inbox and your spam carefully for any communications from the Passport Service.  When your passport is printed, it will be posted to you directly, along with any supporting documents.

Passport photos taken from a smartphone or digital camera are sufficient, but selfies cannot be used, and you should not use the zoom function. When taking your photo, ensure that you are standing in front of a blank wall, you are not smiling, and no shadows appear on your face or behind you. Photo guidelines are provided on the Department of Foreign Affairs website.

You may contact the Irish Consulate with questions about the application process via their US WebChat hub from 9:30-3:30 pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

Citizenship

You are automatically an Irish citizen if one of your parents was an Irish citizen who was born in Ireland.

You can become an Irish citizen if one of your grandparents was born in Ireland, or you can become an Irish citizen (through great grandparent) if one of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth but was not born in Ireland. If you’re eligible, you can register your birth on the Foreign Births Register. www.dfa.ie. Follow the link to Passports/Citizenship – Foreign Birth Registration

There are no longer paper applications to apply for Irish citizenship, as it is now an online process.

Visa Waiver Program

Irish citizens who hold a valid machine readable passport and who have acquired Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval may be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables citizens of participating countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism, business or transiting the U.S. for 90 days or less without obtaining a U.S. visa if they meet certain conditions. For more information about the VWP and ESTA, and the requirements for these, please visit the website of the US Embassy in Dublin.

Legal Referrals

The Center does not have a lawyer on staff and we are not an immigration center. Instead, we can provide legal referrals to a network of attorneys in a number of areas including immigration, personal litigation, criminal law, and family law. We do not recommend one referral over the other.

Mind Yourself Welfare Services

Aisling Irish Community and Cultural Center has prepared this booklet with information and resources for Irish Immigrants. It covers a wide variety of topics including healthcare information, mental health resources, social and recreational clubs, senior resources, and overall well-being.

J1 Visa Students

Due to changes in the visa requirements, all J1 visa students must have a job secured before they arrive in the U.S.

If you traveled with USIT/ CIEE, Make sure you register with SEVIS/CIEE within the required time period; some students did not do in previous years and had to leave the U.S. immediately because they did not adhere to the conditions of the J1 visa. Their contact number is 888-268-6245.

It is also realistic that you will be waiting 3-4 weeks before receiving your social security number although you should have documentation from your sponsor stating that employer’s can hire you and that your social security number will be issued soon. You will also receive a letter from the S.S. office that your application for S.S. # is in progress.

Employment

There is a very significant change to the J1 summer work and travel programme this year – click on the links below for more detailed information. All J1 visa students will have to secure a job before they arrive in the U.S.

Social Security Offices

Office Hours: Mon-Fri (9am–4pm)

820 Concourse Village West
3rd Floor
Bronx, NY 10451

(855) 531-1684

237 West 48th St.
5th floor
New York , NY 10036

(866) 964-0783

20 South Broadway
10th Floor
Yonkers , NY 10701

(866) 331-6404

Accommodations

It is a standard requirement to pay the first month’s rent and a month’s deposit in advance. The average total rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,400 per month ($700 per room/per person) and $1,800 per month for a 3 bedroom apartment ($600 per room/per person). Utility bills (electric, phone & internet, cable TV) are usually not included in the stated rent. Depending on how many people you share the apartment with; utilities can cost an additional $120-200 per month.

Check the accommodation notice board in the Aisling Center on a daily basis for accommodation in Yonkers and the Bronx, as well as local delis, shops, and launderettes. You may also view a list of short-term accommodation rentals linked below.

*You will need to bring a minimum of $2,000 with you to cover rent and living expenses until you receive our first week’s salary*

Please be wary of listings on websites like Craigslist and do no organize a money transfer without viewing the accommodation.

Hyatt Place Hotel offers friends of the Aisling Center a 10% discount off standard reservation rates.

Use code 43536.

Click here to make an online reservation or call 1-800-233-1234.

The above list is for information purposes only and should not be taken as an endorsement of any of the accommodations listed.

Other Irish Centers in the Queens, Bronx, and New York areas:

Emerald Isle Immigration Center Bronx Office

4275 Katonah Ave
Bronx , NY 10470

(718) 324-3039

Emerald Isle Immigration Center Queens Office

59-26 Woodside Ave.
Woodside, NY 11377

(718) 478-5502

New York Irish Center

1040 Jackson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101

(718) 482-0909

Also check the weekly Irish newspapers if staying in Woodlawn, Bronx or Queens/Woodside:

Emergency/General Information

  • CIEE Emergency 1617-646-7300/1888-COUNCIL www.ciee.org
  • CIEE/ USIT Health Insuranace 888-268-6245
  • Interexchange 917-373-0994 https://www.interexchange.org/contact/
  • Interexhange/ SAYIT Health Insurance : White Horse Administration Services Limited, +44 1733 224 892, claims@white-horse.ie
  • Consulate General of Ireland, 345 Park Avenue, NY 10154 17th floor (51st Street), 212-319-2556
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