Australian Citizens Can Apply For an E-3 USCIS Nonimmigrant Visa to Work in the United States

uscis e3 visa

Australian citizens looking to work in the US can take advantage of the E-3 visa as it has no annual limit and is considerably cheaper than H1B visa. Furthermore, its renewal can continue indefinitely while including any dependent spouse of the beneficiary.

An L-1 visa provides faster processing times than an I-129 petition and does not fall victim to USCIS processing delays, making transitioning between employers easier.


The E-3 visa is intended for citizens of Australia coming to work in specialty occupations that require at least a bachelor’s degree in the United States. It can be renewed every two years; regulation comes from USCIS and Department of Labor; this visa makes life in America much simpler with families – spouses of E-3 visa holders are eligible for Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which allows them to legally work here as well.

To qualify for an E-3 visa, you must present both a valid Australian passport and an offer from an American employer in a field related to your field of expertise, with at least a bachelor’s degree requirement or extensive professional experience as proof.

Your employer must file a labor condition application (LCA) with the Department of Labor before you can start working in the United States, and once approved it must also file your DS-160 and pay its required fee. Once an LCA is approved you must attend an interview at an U.S. Consulate where specific instructions will be given as to which documents must accompany you for an interview.

Documentation requirements

The E-3 visa is a nonimmigrant category designed for Australian citizens wishing to temporarily work in the US. Employers in the US file an LCA with the Department of Labor, while employees submit an entry application including their approved LCA and any supporting documentation. Foreign nationals seeking employment must obtain an offer from a US-based company in a specialty occupation and obtain their company’s written assurance that it will pay them the actual or prevailing wage for that position. Foreign nationals requiring E-3 visas must hold academic qualifications comparable to a bachelor’s degree or possess equivalent professional experience. E-3 visas are valid for two years and employees can travel back and forth as often as desired with them.

When applying for an E-3 visa, a foreign citizen and his or her spouse and children must present various documentation including an employment offer letter, academic qualifications and evidence of financial support from home country ties proving they do not intend to settle permanently in the US.

Consular interviews are an integral component of the E-3 visa process. USCIS will review your petition and supporting documents to ensure they meet all requirements before sending your petition off to their Vermont Service Center where processing time could range anywhere between four and eight months.

Application process

An E-3 visa can be an attractive alternative for Australian professionals looking to move to the US. Not only is it less costly than its H-1B counterpart, but there is no annual cap so the visa remains readily available throughout the year and spouses are allowed to work – something not possible with other nonimmigrant categories.

To obtain an E-3 visa, you will need to submit a Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker along with supporting documents from your employer and yourself, such as an LCA form from them as well as proof of your degree or equivalent training and job offers in line with your field of expertise. Furthermore, you will require a valid passport from Australia along with payment of applicable fees, an exam medical exam as well as an interview with USCIS.

If you are already present in the United States on another type of nonimmigrant status, an E-3 change of status application may be submitted through your employer; otherwise, an international application must be filed at a U.S. consulate abroad.

At this stage, you must submit Form DS-160 with payment of its appropriate fee, then attend a visa interview at either an U.S. consulate in Australia or internationally; once approved, your work permit will allow for legal employment in the US.

Visa interview

The E-3 visa provides temporary work permission for Australian citizens looking to work in specialty occupations in the US. To secure it, extensive documents and an interview are needed before being accepted onto this process; making it an attractive alternative to H-1B for Australians.

Beginning the process begins with filing of a Labor Condition Application (LCA). This document must then be approved by the Department of Labor before an E-3 visa can be issued. Following approval, applicants can complete and pay online nonimmigrant visa applications before receiving an interview appointment by email or letter for review by consular officers. They should bring all pertinent civil and occupational documents along with them for this appointment.

Once the interview has concluded, a consular officer will assess if an applicant meets all the visa requirements. This process may include answering questions regarding nature of their job and specific skills of employees as well as reviewing their background such as education, work experience and other factors. If granted an E-3 visa by consular official they will stamp passport and return it with two year validity stamp attached by consular official.