5 Things You Need to Know About the E-3 Visa

how long is e3 visa valid

If you are an Australian national looking for work in a specialty occupation in the US, knowing how long their E-3 Visa is valid is key. The E-3 Visa was specifically created for Australian citizens meeting degree and occupational requirements to work here, making the process of immigration much smoother. We at Galstyan Law have put together five facts about this visa that should help make your journey smoother.

To qualify for an E-3 visa, you must possess at least a bachelor’s degree or higher in your field of employment. Professional experience may also qualify; USCIS recognizes that 3 years of progressively responsible work in a given field are equivalent to one year of bachelor’s level education.

The USCIS will review your eligibility for an E-3 visa based on the information you provide them. In addition, an employer must submit a more in-depth job offer letter that lists both qualifications required to be eligible and specific positions to work in. It would be prudent to consult an experienced immigration lawyer when creating this letter.

Your employer must also file a Labor Condition Application (LCA), certifying that you will receive a fair prevailing wage in your occupation and guaranteeing working conditions that match those of a US worker. This protects both of you in terms of nonimmigration as well as equal working conditions between employers.

Once your LCA is approved, the next step in applying for an E-3 visa should be filing it with USCIS at least four months in advance to give them enough time to process and approve your petition in time for your arrival in the US.

If your visa does not arrive prior to your start date, filing an extension of status application with USCIS may be the solution. You can do this online via an easy form; although there may be a fee involved (though much lower than what a new petition would cost). Indefinite extensions can also be requested on this form.

An E-3 visa does not grant permanent resident status in the US; rather, you must intend on departing at the end of your authorized period of stay and must also have an active sponsor or petitioner pending immigrant visa petition on your behalf for permanent residency or immigration visa petition filing purposes. Your spouse and children who also hold E-3 visas can apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), which allow them to legally work.