E-3 Visa For Citizens of Australia

e3 visa australia

The E-3 visa is a US work visa created in 2005 for citizens of Australia who have specialty occupation qualifications. It allows unlimited renewals and doesn’t require a petition to USCIS.

The application process is relatively quick and requires a meeting with a consular officer. It’s a good idea to hire an immigration lawyer to prep for your interview and ensure you have all the necessary documents.

What is an E-3 Visa?

The E-3 visa is a US work visa for citizens of Australia who are coming to the United States to perform specialty occupations. It is a nonimmigrant visa that allows employers to sponsor Australian workers for an initial two-year period. The visa can be renewed indefinitely. Unlike the H-1B visa, you do not need to file a petition with USCIS for this type of visa.

The main advantages of this US work visa for Australian citizens are minimal application costs, quick processing times, unlimited renewals and easy transitions between employers. This visa also allows for the inclusion of spouses and children and does not require a labor certification, which simplifies the hiring process.

The E-3 visa is a result of the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA). The U.S. employer files a labor certification with the Department of Labor to prove no qualified US worker is available for the position at the prevailing wage and to establish that the position will not adversely impact American workers. Then, the employee goes through consular processing at a US embassy or consulate to get the visa.

Eligibility Requirements

The E-3 Visa allows Australian citizens to work in specialty occupations in the United States. This nonimmigrant visa category is regulated by USCIS and requires that the position pay at least the prevailing wage and that the individual possess relevant qualifications and experience.

E3 visa holders can also bring their spouse and children with them, as long as they maintain the visa status. In addition, the application process is much faster than that of the H-1B and L-1 visas, and is often more affordable.

It is important that the E-3 holder demonstrate his or her intent to return to Australia when the visa expires. Unlike the H-1B visa, this visa does not allow for dual intent and thus does not lead to permanent residency in the United States. The visa is valid for two years and can be renewed indefinitely. This makes it the ideal option for professionals who have a job offer in the US and want to secure a temporary work visa.

How to Apply for an E-3 Visa

E-3 visas are nonimmigrant visas, which means that they only allow the visa holder to work in the United States temporarily. Therefore, the visa must be renewed periodically. E-3 visa renewals can be done at US Consulates around the world, usually with much shorter wait times than if renewing from inside Australia.

To apply for an E-3 Visa, the applicant must have a US employer sponsor them by submitting a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) that clearly shows the position as a specialty occupation. Additionally, the applicant must have a bachelor’s degree or higher, relevant work experience and meet other requirements to prove they qualify for the role.

Once the application is approved, the applicant will be given an interview date at a US Consulate abroad. During the interview, the consular officer will ask the applicant questions about their background, qualifications and intended stay in the United States. The interview is very important, and applicants should be prepared to answer a range of questions.


A US Consulate or Embassy in Australia is the safest place to apply for an E-3 visa renewal. Consular officers in other locations may be unfamiliar with this unique visa which could result in a delay or denial.

The E-3 visa was created by the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement and allows Australian citizens to work temporarily in the United States in a specialty occupation. This visa is limited to 10,500 new nonimmigrants each year and does not count towards the H-1B or L-1A quotas.

The process for applying for an E-3 visa is similar to other US visa categories and requires a Labor Condition Application (LCA) filed by your employer on your behalf. The LCA has a specific validity date which matches the duration of your visa, so the visa can only be renewed for up to 2 years at a time. Premium processing is available for this visa category, which expedites the process.