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New Law Extends the Irish Peace Process Cultural Training Program

President Bush signed legislation on October 4, 2002, extending for another year the Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program (H.R. 4558, Pub. L. No. 107-234). The program, also known as the “Walsh” visa program, was created by the “Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998” (IPPCTPA), and allows young people from disadvantaged areas of Northern Ireland and designated counties of the Republic of Ireland to enter the U.S. to develop job skills and conflict resolution abilities. Under the program, as many as 4,000 residents of Northern Ireland or of six designated counties within the Republic of Ireland may be provided with nonimmigrant visas to enter the U.S. for up to 36 months to develop such skills, in each of the three program years beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2000. Spouses and children are included in the program. To date, only about 1,000 of the 12,000 visas authorized under the program have been issued. The new law provides the program with more time to distribute visas by extending the sunset date from October 1, 2005 to October 1, 2006.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 02100741.