Trump may stump Australian techies heading for the US

Preferential E-3 visa deal likely to come under scrutiny for labor and free trade reasons

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In January 2016, the United States changed the rules of the E-3 visa to make it easier for skilled Australians working in the USA to stay there for longer. And yesterday President-elect Donald Trump announced he would “direct the Department of Labor to investigate all abuses of visa programs that undercut the American worker.”

E-3 visas could be construed as undercutting Americans, as they allow Australians who are offered a job by a US-based company two years residency, followed by an extension. Since the visa was simplified, Australians can even roll over the visa for 240 days while they apply for an extension. That's the same provision available under the H-1B visa for which Trump has expressed disdain.

Australia won the E-3 visa and the grace period for extension applications in part as thanks for the nation's participation in US-led military ventures and also due to the US/Australia free trade agreement.

Trump has signalled he will renegotiate such agreements when he feels they do not serve American interests.

Vulture South has contacted the Trump campaign to seek clarification on whether the president-elect considers the E-3 visa undercuts American workers, or intends to reconsider the free trade agreement. ®


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