Michael Thawley, a former Australian ambassador to the US, has warned that the exclusive access of Australians to the E3 work visa is under threat as other countries have begun to fight for access to it. The US offers 10,500 slots of this visa yearly to Australian citizens.
Thawley, during his regime as ambassador in 2005, negotiated the E3 visa and he has opined that having countries like Ireland access the visa would water it down.
He fears that other countries could want a piece of the visa as well and thus, made a resolve that they would stop the threat.
There is already a bill in the US Congress with the support of the Trump administration, which proposes to let the Irish have whatever is left of the slots for each year after Australians have completed their applications.
The bill has an earlier version last year which wanted Ireland to have equal access to the visa. As it is, Korea and India have registered their interest in having their citizens given the same treatment.
Thawley argues that Australia, what with its history with the US, being a dependable ally and fighting with it in significant wars, has a stronger claim to the E3 visa.
He went in to emphasize the Australian claim to the visa saying that the US has many Australian investors and employers and that the country is a reliable economic partner to America on tax, finance and other regulatory issues.
Ireland, due to its vast diaspora and a good number of people in Congress who have an Irish heritage, has already attracted significant support for the bill.
Australians with the E3 visa are allowed to work in the US with their spouses for two years. They can also renew the visa for as many times as they want.
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