Bill for Irish workers to have access to American visas passes US House of Representatives
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Bill for Irish workers to have access to American visas passes US House of Representatives

IRISH WORKERS have been granted access to thousands of US visas after the House of Representatives passed their latest bill.

The plan to add Ireland to the E-3 visa programme will now be voted on by the US Senate.

Back in November 2018, the House of Representatives voted in favour of a previous E-3 bill, but it failed to get the unanimous support that was required in the US Senate, with one Republican Senator blocking the bill.

E-3 visas are currently available to Australian workers only, with 10,500 on offer each year.

However, because usually only half of these are taken up, Ireland wants to take the rest of them.

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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

In order to try and grease the wheels of the American legislative system and get the bill to pass, it's understood the Irish government is trying to create a type of reciprocal arrangement which would make it easier for more Americans to be able to retire in Ireland.