May 10, 2005
Report by Karen Percy from Radio ABC
In an interview on ABC Radio, Mark Vaile, the Australian Trade Minister, revealed the US Congress has just approved a special new class of work visa (E3 visa ) for Australia which will increase opportunities for more Australians to work in the US.
Listen to the interview on ABC Radio on PM Program in (click at) REAL AUDIO or on WINDOWS MEDIA or in MP3 format.The E3 visa is one of five employment-based immigrant visas. Employment-based immigrant visas are numerically limited by law. The US Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) limits the number of certain types of immigrant visas that can be issued every year. Section 201 of INA Act sets an annual worldwide minimum for employment-based preference immigrants at 140,000.
The US State Department’s Visa Office controls the monthly availability of visa numbers based on (1) the number of documentarily-qualified applicants as reported by U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide and, (2) the number of applicants for adjustment of status (foreign nationals already in the U.S.) reported by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The State Department’s January 2005 allocations of E3 visas were made based on its calculation of worldwide demand in the visa category.
Under a deal struck with the Australian Government, 10,500 Australians will now be able to work in America under the special E3 visa. The terms of the visa are extremely generous too, valid for up to six years with provisions for the spouses and children of visa holders to work as well.
Last year, only 900 Australians were permitted to work under the 2-year H1B visa
No start date for the E3 visa program had been announced and the details have still to be sorted out.
To take full advantage of the E3 visa requirements, a university education will be a plus, so will employment experience. The visa also allow spouses and the children of visa holders to work. The only restrictions it seems, that employers abide by American labour laws.
According to Mark Vaile:
"This is of great importance to Australian business people that move backwards and forwards between here and the United States and will help enable people taking advantage of new opportunities under the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement.Charles Blunt, the Chief Executive of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia, said:
The criteria that are applied under the former H1B definition of specialty occupation will also apply to this and Australians have always been able to get in under that category although in limited numbers. "
" I think essentially they'll be essentially management and service sector related jobs; areas where Australia has proven expertise.Visa and immigration specialist David Crawford believes that this favorable consideration by the US Congress was made in recognition of Australia's high profile in supporting US foreign policy objectives over the recent past.
We've got some extremely well educated business people who've got expertise in the service sector, technically in the service sector in terms of management, and also in the management of business enterprises generally.
And it's those areas, maybe in the professions and perhaps in some educational areas also. "
Thursday, May 12, 2005
May 10, 2005