POTENTIAL IRISH E-3 VISA EXPLAINED
Q: What is the E-3 visa?
A: The E-3 visa allows Australian citizens in certain specialty/professional positions to live and work in the US.
Q: How many E-3 visas are available each year?
A: There are 10,500 E-3 visas available each fiscal year for Australians. Typically, Australians use approximately 5,000 of these E-3 visas per year.
Q: What is the potential Irish E-3 visa?
A: There is currently a bill before the Senate that would allow Irish citizens / Ireland to avail of the surplus E-3 visas. A vote is expected any day now and unanimous approval is required. As of writing this (12/12/2018), there was only one Senate hold remaining.
Q: Who is eligible for an E-3 visa?
A: To be eligible for the E-3 visa at present you must:
Be an Australian citizen
Have a US sponsor for a job that is considered a “specialty occupation” i.e. requires a Bachelor’s degree in a specific field
Hold that specific Bachelors’ degree or higher or equivalent in work experience (12 years)
Show an ultimate intent to depart the US
Q: How long is the E-3 visa valid?
A: The E-3 visa is granted for a period of two years initially. In theory, the E-3 visa can be renewed indefinitely in two year increments.
Q: Are spouses and children permitted to accompany an E-3 visa holder?
A: Yes, dependents are allowed to reside in the US and spouses may apply for independent employment authorization.
Q: How will the proposed bill affect Irish citizens?
A: If the proposed Irish E-3 bill receives unanimous approval from the US Senate, then Irish citizens, who meet all criteria, will be eligible to apply for E-3 visas unused by Australian citizens. There would potentially be 5,000 E-3 visas available for Irish citizens per year. If the bill passes, it will be an amazing opportunity for qualifying Irish citizens to move to the U.S. to work on a temporary basis.
Q: How do you apply for an E-3 visa?
A: Your US employer sponsor would work with an experienced immigration attorney to prepare the E-3 case. A Labor Condition Application (LCA) is filed with the Department of Labor. Once approved, the certified LCA is added to the rest of the E-3 application. Eligible individuals can apply directly at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad for the E-3 visa. We highly recommend that all E-3 visa applicants get thorough preparation for the Embassy/Consulate interview from their immigration lawyer.
Q: Where do I get news on the E-3 visa?
A. You can follow our Managing Attorney, Fiona, on Twitter or our firm on Facebook. The Irish E-3 visa is very near and dear to Fiona’s heart – she has tirelessly advocated for the expansion of the E-3 visa to include Irish citizens with both US and Irish officials, including Chicago-based Irish Senator Billy Lawless. Watch this space…