Australia will retain elite access to 10, 500 US E3 Visas annually, a unique stream that cannot be claimed by any other nation. The amendment is likely to be ratified by the US Congress before the end of 2018. This concludes the lobbying for several weeks by the Embassy of Australia in Washington. It was due to concerns that the access to the visas could be reduced by half.
The Australian officials will persuade both the sides of the US Congress to endorse the proposed changes. One of the officers said that they were very keen to preserve the 10, 500 US E3 Visas for Australians. This is because the numbers of visa applicants are increasing, added the officer, as quoted by the AFR.
The access to US E3 Visas was fought very hard by Australia during the FTA. These visas were launched after Australia and the US signed a Free Trade Agreement in 2005. They offer a smooth pathway to professionals with higher skills or qualifications. This is for working in the US for 2 years.
The Homeland Security Department reveals that there is an increase in the number of Australian applicants for US E3 Visas. 5657 Visas were obtained by them in 2017 in comparison with 3946 in 2013.
The original draft bill tabled by Mr. Sensenbrenner at the beginning of 2018 had provision for Irish nationals as well. These could concurrently apply for the E3 Visas along with Australians. The limited number of these Visas is capped by number. It could have resulted in Australian workers missing the visas in the future.
The unused quota of E3 Visas has also drawn attention to the fact. It is that many highly skilled Australian professionals may not be utilizing the program. They are thus missing the opportunity to obtain a US Job and salary hike as well.
It is the opinion of the experts in the US that there is a huge demand in the nation for highly qualified professionals. This is in the Financial Services, Consultancies, Social Media and Advertising.
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