American visas for all!

When I interviewed with Microsoft last time one of the issues discussed was whether I could get a visa or not. Now, Microsoft didn’t seem to think it was a big deal, but then again the recruiter at the time said that they had “very good lobbyists” should it come to that. Part of the problem is that there are only 65,000 new H-1B visas available a year, and they generally run out very quickly.

That appears to have been largely fixed for us Aussies:

More than 10,000 Australians will have the chance to work in the United States each year under a new visa that eases restrictions on working in America.

The special E-3 visa will allow 10,500 Australian professional or business people to temporarily work and live in the US – more than 10 times the current number.

This is lifted from an article in the Age newspaper here about the new form of visa, which is only for Australians which has just been introduced. Given how supportive we’ve been of the US recently (for better or worse), it’s nice to see that we really are getting something in return.

They were saying on the radio that the visa will allow the spouse and children of the person with the visa to work in the US as well, and that the visa is good for six years, both of which are well in excess of what is allowed by the H-1B (which I believe is no working for family members, and only good for three years if I recall my research from earlier this year correctly).

[tags: visa american usa immigration australia work permit]