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Jun 5, 2005
US creates special visa for Australian workers
- Michael Gawenda With Tim Colebatch Email this article

The US Congress has passed legislation that creates thousands of working visas for Australians and their spouses in what is seen in Washington as a sign of the special relationship with Australia.

 

"I don't think any other country at the moment would have been able to get this sort of visa concession in the current climate," an official said.

 

Some 10,500 E3 visas will be issued annually to Australians with tertiary qualifications who have job offers from American employers, including universities, government departments and businesses. There is no age limit.

Until now, Australians have had to compete for one of the 65,000 work visas issued worldwide by the US each year.

 

Last year, 986 Australians received an HIB visa, which does not allow spouses of visa holders to work and has a time limit of six years.

 

Once President George Bush signs the legislation, Australia will become the only country whose nationals are issued special work visas.

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