1. Where did the E3 initiative come from?
The E3 initiative was first proposed for Ireland by the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform after the failure of Kennedy/McCain immigration bill.
The only country at present with E3 visas is Australia. South Korea are also seeking a version of E3.
The E3 visas were first presented at a critical meeting in the Bronx at an ILIR event with Senator Charles Schumer attended by ILIR founders Ciaran Staunton, Niall O’Dowd, Hugh Meehan, Debbie McGoldrick and Kelly Fincham.
Senator Schumer agreed to study the ILIR initiative and now has become its greatest champion.
Informally, the visas are known as Schumer visas and are strongly supported by the Irish government.
2. How many visas are being proposed?
10.500 E3 visas are called for in the new Senate bill. The visas are non-immigrant but allow the recipient and his or her spouse to work in America renewing the visa every two years in perpetuity. Senator Schumer has said recently a path to a green card will also be discussed.
3. Who would be eligible for the E3 visa?
The E-3 visa classification would apply to nationals of Ireland as well as their spouses and children. Children could not work under current rules.
The spouse and children need not be Irish citizens. As a spouse you would need a marriage certificate from the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
4. What is the educational qualification at present?
At present it is high school graduate or equivalent or equivalent trade experience and training
5. Will you need a job offer?
You will need to have a job offer from a sponsoring employer in the United States before you can apply for the E-3 visa.
6. How will that work?
In practice in the Australian experience this means that a potential E3 visa recipient would travel to the U.S. before applying for the E3 and secure an employment offer. The person could not apply from the United States but could at any U.S. Embassy or consulate outside the US.
7. What does the employer have to file?
The Australian experience is that the employer files for labor certification. The E3 recipient brings all the necessary documentation to an embassy interview and once approved can come to the US within a few days
8. Can the E3 recipient change employers?
Yes the E3 recipient can change employers but a new Labor certificate has to be filed by the employer
9. How successful has the E3 been in Australia?
Remember they still have a booming economy and close to full employment. In practice a little over 2,000 Australians a year apply and receive an E3.
10. How likely is it that E3 will form part of the final bill?
Hard to say but the E3 initiative received a huge boost when Senator Schumer announced he would embrace the concept and make it one of his priorities. He is quite simply the major force behind the new bill.