5 Things You Should Know About the E-3 Visa

Australian citizens looking to work in specialty occupations in the US may qualify for an E-3 visa, one of the few available exclusively to Australian nationals. In order to apply, an offer of employment from an US employer offering you at least the prevailing wage will need to be secured – in addition, qualifications and credentials must meet specific specialty occupation criteria.

Visa application processes can be lengthy and complex; however, there are ways you can speed up this process and increase your chances of success. Here are five essential facts about an E-3 visa.

1. Starting Your Visa Application In order to start the E3 visa application process, you must submit Form I-129: Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Along with providing copies of any pages containing biometric information from your current passport as well as supporting evidence listed on the petition such as certified Labor Condition Application forms or letters from potential employers detailing how your job duties meet specialization occupation criteria, forms I-129 requires supporting documents as evidence for approval such as supporting evidence like LCA forms and letters outlining job responsibilities that meet those required for specialization occupation designations.

2. Application Procedure

There are two approaches to applying for an E3 visa: you can either file the petition from outside of the US and attend an interview at a US Consulate abroad, or make your change of status application once already within the US. Generally, filing your E-3 petition overseas may be more efficient because triggering your status could take two to three months in total (premium processing isn’t available for E-3s).

3. The Employment Offer Letter

Your employer must create and provide you with a letter of support outlining how your job meets the requirements for specialty occupation. The letter should be signed by someone with authority, as well as including their name, title, and contact info as well. Ideally, this support letter should be written clearly and succinctly; in most instances this should follow suit with their formal offer letter provided to you by their company.

4. The E3 Visa Stamp

Once your visa is approved, the next step will be getting it stamped at a US Consulate. When receiving your passport back from being returned to you, carefully examine it to make sure all details such as dates match up correctly with that in the visa stamp as well as employer names being correctly spelled and other important elements are accurate.

5. Conclusions: An E-3 visa typically lasts two years, though extensions can be granted as long as you continue meeting its requirements. While E-3 status gives applicants eligibility to apply for green cards while still in E-3 status, no guarantee exists that your application will be approved.