Efforts are being made to secure thousands of potential new working visas in the US for Irish nationals.
Earlier this year, a bill to ensure excess E-3 visas (particularly made for Australians) were made available to Irish nationals was brought forward. This could mean that yearly, about 5,000 US visas could be set aside specifically for Irish nationals.
Though early in December, in the United States House of Representatives, the bill was passed without a need to vote, there was a serious roadblock against it at the Senate.
Unanimous support was needed for the bill from the 100-seat Senate, but Senator Tom Cotton posed an opposition, as such, the bill was put in the hold.
However, there has been an understanding that the United States President has spoken to the Senator personally concerning his opposition.
Congressman Richie Neal informed the Taoiseach and TD John Deasy, US Envoy to Congress about his reintroduction of the bill in order “to get it over the line.”
This news arrived when Taoiseach Leo Varadkar concluded his St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the government house, where he propelled the progress of the E3 visa during an oval office meeting with the United States president. Also at the Shamrock ceremony and speakers’ lunch on Capitol Hill.
He appreciated the fact that new E3 visas will be made available to Irish nationals.
Billy Lawless of Seanad Éireann, a Chicago based Senator told TheJournal.ie that probably the bill was “stuck” in between the “crisis” in Washington.
He further stated that Senator Cotton was being bribed richly by the Irish advocates and diplomats, but they were also unaware of his objection.
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