Dáil Éireann - Volume 661 - 24 September, 2008
Written Answers. - International Agreements.
Deputy Michael Ring Deputy Michael Ring
Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the progress made establishing a bilateral agreement with the US that would allow greater access to working opportunities in both countries for Irish and American citizens; if a working visa agreement will be put in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30728/08]
Deputy Micheál Martin Deputy Micheál Martin
Deputy Micheál Martin: As the Deputy will be aware, the Government continues to attach a very high priority to finding a solution for our undocumented citizens in the United States. At the same time, we have also argued that the long term strength of our bilateral relationship with the United States would benefit greatly by the establishment of new immigration arrangements which would facilitate greater legal migration between the two countries, an approach which was endorsed in the all-party motion passed in November 2007.
On a visit to Washington DC and New York this week, I will be meeting with senior US political leaders and the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform to push for early progress following the US Presidential and Congressional elections. In particular I will be advocating a three pronged approach involving: a solution for our undocumented; new bilateral arrangements to provide reciprocal long term working visas (known as E3s) and a new Working Holiday Agreement which will enable at least 20,000 Irish citizens in, or recently graduated from, post secondary education to work and travel in the US for up to 12 months. Intensive discussions are continuing in relation to the latter.
I can assure the Deputy that the Government will continue to avail of every possible opportunity to highlight the importance of this issue in our contacts with US Administration and political figures.
Question No. 1058 answered with Question No. 1042.
Dáil Éireann 661 Written Answers. International Agreements.