An announcement by Congress, concerning the current status of the E3 Visa, left a vicarious feeling amongst Australians planning on making the move to the USA. As it stood, the E3 visa came as a part of a 2005 Australian-US fair trade agreement under the Bush administration. It had become the envy of many nations as, unlike many other visas, it allows its recipients, and their spouse, to work within the US unrestricted and has unlimited renewals. The Visa is relatively cheap and allows Australians to by-pass many other applicants attempting to gain entry in the US. To qualify applicants must be employed in a specialty occupation, have a legitimate offer of employment in the US, and possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials.
Congress announced that they were considering changes to the Visa which would allow Irish citizens to share the allocated 10,000 visa positions, formally reserved for Australian citizens.
After much speculation, it has been confirmed that the quota of 10,000 Visa positions will be allocated to Australian citizens as first priority and any remaining visas can then be transferred to the Irish citizen pool.
Sources in Washington have confirmed that the Australian embassy remains ‘comfortable’ with the proposed changes and has recommended congress toCongress the bill.
As part of a trade-off to receive access to the E3 visas, the Irish government earlier this year agreed to ease restrictions on US citizens wishing to retire to Ireland.
So, for now the E3 visa remains Australian with a sharing element to our cousins in Ireland.