Donald Trump

Ireland Covets Australia’s Exclusive US Visa Deal

With St Patrick’s Day less than a week away, you can expect to see a lot more green around.

But this year the Irish aren’t just green on the outside. They’re also green with envy over Australia’s exclusive access to a special US work visa.

That exclusive access will come under threat when Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar takes up the issue with Trump at the White House this week.

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Irish PM to meet with Trump

Ireland engaged in intense lobbying last year, aiming to break Australia’s monopoly on the E3 non-immigrant visa. But Australia’s Ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey successfully stymied the effort.

The E3 visa is a two-year visa that allows Australian professionals and their spouses to work in the US with no limit on the number of two-year extensions that can be tacked on.

As the visa is only available to Aussies, it is a particularly envious position to be in.

Ireland’s special envoy to the US, John Deasy told the Irish Times that, ‘We expect the issue to feature during our meeting with the president.

Following the signing of a free trade agreement with the US back in 2005, we were rewarded with 10,500 on these E3 visas the following year.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar will meet with Trump at the White House on Thursday for what has become a traditional annual St Patrick’s Day visit.

Varadkar will also be having breakfast with US Vice President Mike Pence, and will have a chance to lobby senior members of Congress when he attends the annual Speaker’s Lunch on Capitol Hill.

Irish to continue to pursue halted vote

Last year’s attempt at getting the measure through Congress was a close-run affair.

Having guided the legislation through the US House of Representatives, the proposed law would allow Irish citizens to take up any of the left-over visas that Australian did not use, AAP reports.

We typically only use about half of our 10,500 supply.

The effort was blocked in the Senate however, as Australia lobbied senators to put the vote on hold.

Congressional priorities then shifted, as debate over the funding of Trump’s border wall reached fever pitch and the government entered a shut-down.

The measure never made it through.

Irish Ambassador Deasy said, ‘We needed to pause the initiative for a couple of months, but the fact that it progressed so much last year means that we’ve no choice but to continue to pursue it.’

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The Australian Tribune Editorial

The Australian Tribune Editorial

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