Thousands of US visas for Irish workers are one step closer after bill passes House of Representatives 6 months ago

Thousands of US visas for Irish workers are one step closer after bill passes House of Representatives

Now onto the Senate.

A bill which would give Irish workers access to thousands of US visas has passed through the House of Representatives.

This means it advances to the Senate where senators will vote on the plan to add Ireland to the E3 visa programme.

It's not the first time an E3 visa bill has passed the House of Representatives with the bill initially passing in 2018 but failing to get the required unanimous support in the Senate.

10,500 E3 visas are available to Australians each year, but as usually only half of these are taken up, it is proposed to give the remaining visas to Ireland. After concern about the extension of the scheme to Ireland was expressed in Australia, Irish nationals would only be able to apply for the visa once Australian nationals had done so first.

Currently, in order to qualify for an E3 visa, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • he or she must have a legitimate offer of employment in the US
  • the position he or she is coming to fill must qualify as specialty occupation employment
  • he or she must be an Australian citizen
  • he or she must have the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials
  • his or her stay must be temporary, and
  • if required before the alien may commence employment in the specialty occupation, he or she must have the necessary license or other official permission to practice in the specialty occupation

It's believed, in order to boost the chances of the bill passing the Senate, the Irish government is undergoing efforts to create some kind of reciprocal arrangement which would ease current restrictions on Americans who want to retire in Ireland.

The change would also allow US citizens to work in Ireland on a similar basis to what is proposed for Irish citizens in the US.