A bill which would extend a US visa to Irish workers has passed through the House of Representatives.
10,500 E-3 visas are currently offered to Australian citizens, but only half of them are taken up.
The bill will now move to the US Senate where it needs unanimous support.
It is the second time an attempt has been made to pass the bill after it was previously blocked.
These visas last two years and allow the recipient's spouse to work in the US also.
To qualify for the visa, the worker must have a specific qualification.
Last time the bill reached the Senate, it was blocked by Republican Tom Cotton of Arkansas.