Very bad news for Irish people looking for a work visa in the United States
The E3 visa deal is dead for now.
A proposal approved by the House of Representatives and backed by outgoing Speaker for the House Paul Ryan could have seen 5,000 E3 visas freed up for Irish immigrants to the US.
The E3 visa is a work visa that allows a holder to work for two years in the United States, and also provides for a spouse to join the holder.
As things stand, 10,000 E3 visas are available to Australians each year, but uptake is low enough that it was proposed to give the remaining visas to Ireland. However, the bill has failed to achieve the unanimous support it required in the United States Senate before it broke for Christmas. The bill was placed on hold by Senator Tom Cotton.
Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii also criticised the bill on Twitter, writing: "Paul Ryan is still the Speaker of the House and they are out of session until Wednesday, with shutdown looming Friday. But, in his defence he IS (checks notes) working on getting more (checks notes again to make sure) people from Ireland into America. Seriously, he is doing that."
The bill was also given negative coverage by alt-right magazine Breitbart, who complained that the bill had no benefit for young American people, describing it as a "jobs giveaway."
Paul Ryan is still the Speaker of the House and they are out of session until Wednesday, with shutdown looming Friday. But, in his defense he IS (checks notes) working on getting more (checks notes again to make sure) people from Ireland into America. Seriously he is doing that.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) December 15, 2018
Once the houses of Congress recommence in the New Year, they will be composed differently, and leadership of the House of Representatives will have transferred from the Republicans to the Democrats.
While it's possible that the bill could be revisited, it's survival no longer looks likely. For now, it's safe to say that we'll be sticking to our J1s.