11 Dec Irish vs. Aussie: E3 Visa
What is the E3 bill and what would it mean for the Irish?
THE LOWER HOUSE of the US Congress has passed a bill that would open up a number of visas designated for Australians to Irish citizens.
The two-year, E-3 work visas (which can be renewed indefinitely) would come from the unused portion of the 10,500 E-3 visas currently allotted to Australia. The spouses of E-3 visa holders are permitted to apply for employment authorisation documents.
After 15 minutes of debate, it was unanimously passed by the House of Representatives on Nov 28, 2018. The bill needs the support of both the House and the Senate to become law.
Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, who tabled the bill along with Democrat Richard Neal, told the House before the vote that the bill would smoothen the process of legal immigration for “one of our oldest allies”.
“The United States was built on hard work and the determination of immigrants – many of them who hail from Ireland. Through their perseverance, they have enabled this country to grow and prosper.”
So what does this mean?
With Australia only utilizing about half of their E3 quota annually, nearly 5,000 American working visas have been going unused every year. The E3 bill wants to open up the visas unclaimed by Australians to Irish people.
Sensenbrenner said: “The United States was built on hard work and the determination of immigrants – many of them who hail from Ireland. Through their perseverance, they have enabled this country to grow and prosper.”
“I believe in the value and opportunity that comes with legal immigration. I am pleased to have authored this legislation to make the process more efficient for one of our oldest allies, and add to the great legacy of cultural diversity celebrated our country.”
The requirements to qualify for an E3 visa mean an applicant must demonstrate:
- that he or she must have a legitimate offer of employment in the US
- that the position he or she is coming to fill qualifies as specialty occupation employment
- that he or she is an Irish citizen
- that he or she has the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials
- that his or her E3 must be renewed every two years.
Spouses but not children are eligible for the E3 visa.