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Renewed E-3 Visa Effort

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar raised the E-3 Visas with President Trump during their talks in Washington last month. RollingNews.ie photo.

By Ray O’Hanlon

The E-3 Visas are in line for a comeback.

The two year renewable visas, currently available to Australian citizens, were close to being offered to Irish citizens at the end of last year but a House of Representatives bill, passed with bipartisan support, failed to garner a vote in the Senate.

Several senators, Tom Cotton of Arkansas foremost among them, raised objections and the E-3 bill died with the end of the 115th Congress.

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Now the 116th Congress, and again the House, is reportedly preparing to advance a new E-3 bill and, according to a report in the Journal.ie, President Trump “has personally spoken to Cotton” about the senator’s previous opposition to the bill.

The report stated that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and TD John Deasy, the Irish government’s envoy to Congress, were informed by Congressman Richard Neal that he will be reintroducing the bill in the House of Representatives in a renewed bid to get it over the line.

Neal is co-chair of the Friends of Ireland in Congress and will be traveling to Ireland next week as part of a congressional delegation (See story Page 3).

John Deasy, according to an Irish Times report, said it was made clear to Mr. Varadkar and the Irish delegation during the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Washington last month that work will continue on the E-3 plan.

“It was clear from our meetings around St. Patrick’s Day that both the Republican and Democratic leadership offices want to continue to pursue the E-3 Bill,” the Waterford TD told the Times.

“Both Speaker Pelosi and President Trump told us they are behind efforts to get this finished and Congressman Neal is one of its driving forces in the House.

“The congressional delegation visiting Ireland is an important step in continuing that process,” Deasy said in reference to next week’s visit that will be led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.