Thousands more US visas for Irish workers moves one step closer 1 year ago

Thousands more US visas for Irish workers moves one step closer

Four still remain in opposition.

Last week, it was revealed that Irish people may get access to thousands more US visas after the House of Representatives voted to extend the E-3 visa scheme to include Irish citizens during a debate in Congress.

This was just the first step as any changes to the scheme would have to be passed unanimously by the Senate.

The vote has not been put before the Senate just yet, as the death of former US President George H.W. Bush has led to a limited schedule this week.

Initially, six Senators (all Republican) had opposed the bill, but according to Irish Central, two of them - Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming - have released their hold on the bill.

The remaining opposition consists of Johnny Isakson of Georgia, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Roy Blunt of Missouri.

It's understood the four are being heavily lobbied by local Irish groups in each state ahead of a vote next week.

The E-3 visa scheme is only available to Australians at the moment, with 10,500 visas made available to them each year. However, only half of these are usually taken up, and Ireland want the remaining, unused visas to be made available to Irish people.