Boston immigration Attorney John Foley has endorsed passage of an immigration bill currently under consideration in the U.S. Congress.
Foley said “HR 7100 would allow Irish citizens to apply for and receive E-3 employment visas. The bill has been filed in the House of Representatives and a vote is expected during the current lame duck session of Congress.”
E-3 visas are currently only available to citizens of Australia. With an E-3 visa, up to 10,500 visa holders and their families can enter the U.S. to work for two years at a time with no limit to the number of extensions. Foley, the principal attorney at Foley Law Offices, P.C. in Boston, MA said “E-3 visas would give thousands of Irish citizens, and their immediate families a legal path into the United States.”
Foley has been working with lawmakers in Ireland and in the U.S. to get the E-3 legislation in front of lawmakers before the end of the session. Foley said “the legislation does not increase the number of visas available but by making it available to Irish citizens it’s more likely the visas will be used.” Less than half of the E-3 visas available to Australian citizens have been used.
In response to a parliamentary question, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney said “Were the Bill to be passed as currently drafted, an estimated 4,000 – 5,000 visas might become available each year for Irish citizens who wished to live and work in the US.”
The Irish government has appointed TD John Deasy as a Special Envoy to the U.S. Congress to work on immigration issues. Foley said “while John Deasy and the Irish government would like to help Irish over-stays they should take what they can get in the current anti-immigration environment. The issue of over-stays is a matter for the U.S. government to resolve. The Irish government should work with its friends in Congress and get E-3 visas for the Irish.”
The House is expected to vote next week before the E-3 bill is sent to the Senate for consideration. To become law, the Bill requires a two thirds majority in the House and sixty votes in the Senate. A number of those working on the legislation say the bill has the strong support of President Trump.
– Leanne Dolan, Legal Research Assistant