Obtaining a visa to the US is no easy thing. And over the past few years, the process has only become costlier and more difficult.
Australians, however, have had an exclusive advantage over the rest of the world in seeking to work in the US.
However, this could soon change, with Australia’s monopoly on a unique US work visa seeing to be broken — with US President Donald Trump apparently yielding to a lobbying effort by Ireland.
Ireland wants in
The E3 is a two-year visa, which currently allows Australian professionals and their spouses to work in the US with no limit to the number of additional two-year extensions.
This privilege does not extend to any other nation.
It was awarded to Australia in 2005, following our involvement in the Iraq War and the signing of the US–Australia fair trade agreement.
Each year, 10,500 E3 visas are made available to Australians. Only half are snapped up.
And it seems Ireland wants the leftovers.
Australian Ambassador Joe Hockey successfully led a lobbying effort late last year, which thwarted Ireland’s attempts.
Only one Senator blocked the 2018 bill.
However, due to Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, this could soon change.
A successful St Patty’s Day
AAP reports that in a St Patrick’s Day breakfast between Trump, Varadkar, VP Mike Pence and other members of Congress, the issue was one on the agenda.
Trump reportedly believed the bill should be filed again.
Ireland’s special US envoy John Deasy told the Irish Examiner,
‘This week in Washington it was made clear to us by all the leaders of both parties that they want to get the E3 Bill passed.’
Varadkar told Trump at the White House on Thursday,
‘I want to thank you and Congress for your support for a new E3 visa program, which would allow a limited number of Irish people to come here annually.’
In return, Ireland may ease restrictions for American citizens who want to retire to Ireland.
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