E-3 Dependent Visa

e3d visa

Eligible family members may accompany you into the US on an E-3 dependent visa if your status remains valid in America.

Contrary to an H-1B visa, an E-3 visa does not require filing with USCIS (the agency responsible for adjudicating work visas such as H-1B). Instead, applicants apply directly at a US Consulate abroad.

What is an E-3 Visa?

The E-3 visa is a nonimmigrant work visa specifically tailored for Australian citizens who possess specialist occupations that require both theoretical and practical application of highly specialized bodies of knowledge. While H1B applications are limited to 10,500 per year, unlike its H1B counterpart which requires employers submit labor certification forms with the Department of Labor in order to apply for one, E-3 workers do not face such restrictions and can apply without an annual cap or labor certification requirements being submitted by employers in order to apply.

DHS has issued official guidelines for the E-3 visa that make it even simpler for U.S. companies to hire and retain top Australian talent, providing details such as eligibility requirements, application steps and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).

To qualify for an E-3 visa, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements:

What are the E-3 Visa Requirements?

An E-3 visa usually requires that applicants hold at least a bachelor’s degree in their specialty field. Furthermore, you must also be engaging in a specialty occupation within the US defined as one that involves theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge.

Your prevailing wage for your specialty occupation must also be set. Your employer should submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor to ensure you will be paid fairly and treated like US workers who hold similar roles.

Additionally, your prevailing wage should meet or surpass the minimum wage in your region of employment – generally $10/hour in most US regions.

E-3 nonimmigrant classification does not require employers to file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker with USCIS; this is one major benefit of this visa over others.

However, it’s important to remember that if you switch jobs, a new LCA and/or petition must be submitted with your new employer/organization; ISSC can assist in doing this. If you plan on bringing your spouse or children with you into the United States with you, they must obtain an E-3D dependent visa proving they are your dependents through valid marriage certificate(s) or birth certificates for children respectively.

How to Apply for an E-3 Visa

E-3 visas are available to individuals working in specialty occupations. To be eligible, a bachelor’s degree or higher must be held in your specific field and your job requires both theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge. We highly advise seeking advice from a professional consultant for best chances at success in obtaining one of these visas.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will conduct a detailed review of your background and nature of work done in the US. Unfortunately, due to coronavirus pandemic and US Consulate backlogs worldwide, this process can take time.

Once your LCA and visa have been approved, travel to the United States may begin. Be sure to keep copies of both documents on you at all times, along with recent pay statements in case an officer at a port of entry requests them.

Change your employer while on an E-3 visa in the US by first applying to the USCIS for a new employment authorization document by filing Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. However, this can be time consuming and complex process depending on where your project stands or whether additional training needs must be fulfilled for your new role.

How Long is an E-3 Visa Valid?

E-3 visas are valid for two years and can be extended indefinitely, providing Australians who wish to work in the US an alternative route than H1B visas as there are 10,500 E3 visas available annually and do not count against an annual limit. E-3 holders can bring along spouse and dependent children under 21 eligible for E3 dependent status; spouses may even qualify for Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which will enable lawful work.

In order to obtain an E-3 visa, applicants must first secure sponsorship from a US employer. This can be accomplished from Australia through Skype interviews or creating a comprehensive resume outlining qualifications, previous work experience and education. Once confirmed by their US employer they will then need to submit an ETA Form 9035 Labor Condition Application which must then be certified by the Department of Labor before receiving their E-3 Visa label from the Embassy.

General, the visa process usually takes four to six weeks; this timeframe can vary depending on how quickly documents can be assembled and an interview date at the US Embassy becomes available. A premium processing fee may also help speed up this step and guarantee faster response from them.