Irish immigration bill proposes utilizing unused visas

American Visa (XL)An influential House of Representatives member is set to table a bill that would allow Irish immigrants to put in an application for unused E-3 US visas originally designed to be used by Australians, says Charlie Flanagan, the Irish foreign minister.

In an interview conducted in New York last week by the Irish Voice, Flanagan – who was in town to attend various Irish community and United Nations events – says that Wyoming Republican representative Jim Sensenbrenner, who has been serving in the House of Representatives for over a quarter of a century, intends to propose the bill that would enable Irish immigrants to make use of the unused E-3 US visa program intended for Australians. This program was created in 2005 and enables 10,500 US visas to be given to highly-skilled Australian nationals per annum.

Flanagan says that Sensenbrenner has made it clear that support needs to be built for the bill to make sure it passes the House. “It’s a new development and it’s important we get support now for the bill,” notes Flanagan, who met with Sensenbrenner and other politicians on Capitol Hill last Wednesday.  “The process has commenced and we will seek support. [Sensenbrenner] himself will also assist in ensuring a measure of support for it.”

The E-3 US visa program is designed for Australians who work in specialized fields that require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and who have an offer of work from an American employer.