Though the Irish government has been working with the Irish lobby for passage of an E-3 work visa, the U.S. elections have placed plans on hold until Congress returns at the end of November.

Speaking to media at the Irish Consulate in New York last week, Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore said that while “quite a lot” of work has been done to secure eventual passage of an E-3 program that would allow the Irish to live and work in the U.S. on a temporary basis, there are no new developments to report.

Gilmore, who was in New York to lead the Irish delegation at the United Nations, also met with representatives of the Irish immigration centers throughout the country.  He announced that the Irish government would once again provide funding for their work with an allocation of $2,103,000 which will be disbursed to 29 organizations.

“We had a useful discussion about the issues – social services, problems with J-1 visas, older immigrants,” Gilmore said of the meeting.

“And we also talked about what needs to be done on a political level to land an E-3 visa.  There’s been quite an amount of work done on a cross party basis with Senator (Charles) Schumer and Senator (Scott) Brown.”

Gilmore, without elaborating, said an agreed text for a possible E-3 program has been put in place. “Now what needs to be done is to look at how that is brought through the House of Representatives and brought into legislation,” he added.

While in New York, Gilmore also met with Bloomberg News to speak about the Irish economy, and labor movement officials.

Eamon Gilmore addressing the United Nations