J Visa Program: The Irish Government has signed a new deal with the U.S. Government providing for 20,000 12-month working-holiday visas for Irish people in the U.S. In addition, the new visas give 5,000 Americans the ability to live and work in Ireland for a maximum of 12 months. For more information, please visit the DFA website. The new visas do not apply to the undocumented Irish in America. ILIR chairman Niall O'Dowd has welcomed the arrangement as "it points the way forward to deal with the other major issues."
DV Lottery: The DV program starts tomorrow. Only 132 Irish applicants were chosen last year, but this is one of the few mechanisms for Irish people to apply for a green card. The program is free (if a website asks you for money it is not the official website.) Intending applicants should submit their personal information only on the official website www.dvlottery.state.gov which will be live from noon on October 2 to noon on December 1, 2008.