Congressman Richard Neal

Not One, But Two E-3 Visa Bills

Congressman Mike Lawler is this week submitting an E-3 Visa bill to Congress.

He is not alone.

Congressman Richard Neal, a Democrat, and Congressman Mike Kelly, like Lawler a Republican, have reintroduced an E-3 Visa bill.

The two previously presented an E-3 bill to the House of Representatives in 2022.

A statement from the two said that Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-MA-01) and Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA-16), Co-Chairs of the Friends of Ireland Caucus, reintroduced bipartisan legislation to add Ireland to the E-3 nonimmigrant visa program. 

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The statement said: "The E-3 program, introduced in 2005 as part of the U.S. – Australian trade agreement, has made 10,500 visas available to skilled Australian nationals annually. It has been a successful pathway for qualified Australian citizens to gain valuable professional experience in the United States. However, Australians have only used roughly half of the available visas during the past decade. In broad strokes, this bill would enable qualified Irish workers to access the unused Australian E-3 visas going forward.

"E-3 visas are limited to professionals visiting the United States to perform services in “specialty occupations” in a confirmed job from a U.S. employer. Under the agreement reached with the Australians, the applicant must have university degree, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the United States. The E-3 visa allows the holder to stay in America for two years with an option to renew. "

Said Congressman Neal: “For the last 100 years, the United States and Ireland have maintained a strong relationship rooted in our shared democratic values. The E-3 visas, combined with these reciprocal arrangements, would further strengthen that relationship, providing the welcome and long overdue movement of citizens between Ireland and the United States in both directions.

"Whether it be our economic ties or our mutual commitment to promote freedom and rules-based international order around the globe, the United States and Ireland have stood by one another for the last century. This legislation reaffirms that connection, creating significant opportunities for our two nations."

Said Congressman Kelly: “It is deeply important that we continue to reaffirm the strong relationship between our people and countries. With generations of Irish Americans contributing to our country including helping to build and shape my home state of Pennsylvania, it’s vital that we recognize the numerous contributions Irish-Americans have made to the educational, political, and cultural life of America.

"It’s important that we honor their many contributions and continue to support the unique relationship between our shared history and people. I’m glad to join Congressman Richard Neal, Co-Chair of the Friends of Ireland, to ensure this strong relationship continues for the next generation.”

The statement said that Congressman Neal and Congressman Kelly have introduced this legislation in two previous Congresses, including the 116th and 117th Congresses. The bill passed the House during the 116th Congress, but it did not receive a vote in the Senate.