E3 and E2 Visas for the Irish and Israelis

February 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Top government officials are of the opinion that there will be early progress on securing the Irish E3 visa bill. If this new bill is passed, 10,500 highly skilled Irish professional level workers will be able to apply for the US E-3 visa program each year.

At present, the E-3 visa is made available only for Australians. If the new bill is passed, the Republic of Ireland will be included in the E-3 visa program. If approved, Irish individuals with a professional level job offer will be able to live and work in the US for two years. They can renew the visa an unlimited number of times. E-3 visa holders’ spouses are permitted to work in the US. They can apply for an Employment Authorization Document by filing Form I-765 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

This bill is also sponsored by US Senator Mark Kirk. It is also seen as an alternative to the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, a bill that was sponsored by Senator Chuck Schumer. Schumer’s bill, includes an Irish immigration provision and it has been referred to the US Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

Per Brown, the INA put in place bureaucratic hurdles for Irish immigrants and caused Irish immigration numbers to come down to all-time lows. Though there was some legislative relief in the l990s, the Irish still face quotas that don’t reflect the level of demand.

The E-3 visa requirements are similar to the H-1B visa where it is used for staff in specialty occupations that require a high degree of specialized knowledge. In addition, at least the equivalent of a US Bachelor’s degree or at least twelve years of relevant professional level experience is mandatory. required.

At present, Australian nationals seeking to get an E-3 visa have to fulfill the following requirements:

  • be a national of Australia
  • have an US employer who is willing to sponsor you
  • have the required academic or other qualifying credentials
  • fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation
  • coming to the US sonly to perform services in a specialty occupation. The specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of knowledge in a professional field, and at least a bachelor’s degree or at least twelve years of relevant experience.

In addition to the above mentioned bill, a member of the US House of Representatives has introduced a bill that would permit eligible Israelis to receive non-immigrant E-2 Treaty investor visas in the US. At present, Israelis do not qualify for the E-2 treaty visa. Through the E-2 Treaty Investor visa, foreign investors can temporarily live and work in the US in their US based business.

If this bill is passed, Israelis who invest in a new or existing business in the US will be able to stay and work in the US with their families. The US E-2 Treaty Investor visa is valid for two years and can be extended indefinitely as long as the visa holder still meets the requirements.

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