E-3 Australian Visa

e3 australian visa

The E-3 visa classification was created in 2005 as part of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement. It is limited to 10,500 Australian citizens.

Unlike other work visas, the E-3 requires a specific job offer and proof of your ability to fill that role in the United States. In this article we will cover everything you need to know about the visa and how to prepare for your interview.


The E-3 Visa for Australians is a non-immigrant work visa that allows professionals from the Commonwealth of Australia to enter the United States and perform services in specialty occupations. This includes jobs that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, as well as the attainment of at least a bachelor’s degree in the specific specialty.

The visa can be issued for up to 2 years and may be renewed indefinitely. The spouse and children of the primary visa holder can also obtain dependent visas, which will give them full legal working rights in the United States.

To qualify for the E-3 Visa, you must have a job offer from a US-based employer that is related to your field of expertise. Your employer must meet certain criteria and file a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor. Our firm can help you determine if your US job qualifies for this category.

Job Offer

Australians are in an enviable position with respect to their ability to work in the United States because of the E-3 visa category. This unique visa avoids many of the flaws of the H-1B work visa that is required by almost all other nationalities and offers significant operational advantages for businesses relocating their employees to the United States.

An American employer can sponsor an Australian citizen in E-3 status to temporarily perform services in a specialty occupation that requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge. The employee must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in the specialty field or accumulated years of experience that are the equivalent to a degree. The employer must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the USCIS and provide the foreign worker with a copy of this form to accompany the visa application. The employer must also offer to pay the foreign worker a salary that is at or above the prevailing wage for the specialty field.

Requirements for Employment

The E-3 visa is specifically for Australians coming to the US to work in specialty occupations. These are occupations that require theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and the attainment of at least a bachelor’s degree in the field or its equivalent.

The US Department of Labor (DOL) requires that employers file an LCA with them to certify that they are paying you a wage and salary that is at or above the prevailing minimum rates of pay for your occupational category. This is the main requirement for your E3 visa and will help to ensure that you’re not being underpaid.

Additionally, you must have accumulated enough years of experience to equate to a full degree. You can use our free online Australian General Skilled Migration points calculator to check how many points you need for your visa. Lastly, English language proficiency is required, and you must pass the IELTS test with a score of 8 bands or above.

Processing Time

Unlike the H1B visa, E3s can be filed directly with a US Embassy or consulate, saving time and money for applicants. The application also does not require a petition to be submitted with USCIS, and the visa is valid for two years with unlimited renewals.

Typically, it takes around four to six weeks from initial filings to receiving the visa in hand via premium processing. However, delays can occur during the interview, when a US Consular officer evaluates your eligibility and determines whether you are granted a visa.

The interview process consists of questioning about your qualifications, work experience, and intentions to return to Australia after finishing in the US. Your immigration lawyer can help prepare you for the interview and ensure that all necessary documents are submitted in a timely manner. The US Embassy generally approves applications within five business days after the interview. Spouses of E3 nonimmigrant workers may apply for an EAD (Employment Authorization Document) as well.