Irish Citizens can soon have another path to obtain a visa to work and live in the US. The bill proposes that Ireland is included in the US E3 visa program.
The bill would need to garner a unanimous support from members of the US House of Representatives – and if passed – would create 5,000 more visas for citizens of Ireland.
Ireland backs the proposal with a strong argument that the US has a strong history with Ireland but that the US does not reflect this in the number of visas it allocates to Irish citizens every year. As a matter of fact, there are more than 35 million US citizens who trace their ancestry to Ireland.
The E3 currently available to Australians only
At the moment, the visa is only available to Australian citizens, and it permits its holders with their spouses to work and live in the US for just two years. Australia made the negotiation for this visa with the US in 2005, and it was included as a part of a trade agreement signed that year between the US and Australia.
The US allocates only 10,500 of these E3 visas every year, but surprisingly about half of this number is picked up. The bill proposes that the other half was allocated to Ireland.
According to the Irish Times, this bill may have higher chances of success if Ireland could take a reciprocal step to relax the requirements for US nationals who wish to spend their retirement in Ireland and equally let them work for 20 hours a week.
The E3 visa is renewable, and this is not the first time that Ireland made this proposal, seeking inclusion in the visa scheme. The last time was in 2015, but it failed as it didn’t get sufficient congressional support.
John Deasy, Ireland’s special envoy to the US, has high hopes that the proposal would be successful this time seeing as it has bipartisan support in the House. But then, if the House endorses it, it would still get its final approval from the Senate.
But then, some other officials think that the involvement of Paul Ryan, the current Speaker of the House, makes a significant difference.
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