E-3 Visa Lawyer – Specialty Occupations

E-3 visas permit Australian citizens to work in “specialty occupations”. These professions typically require at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the relevant field and pay at least the prevailing wage set forth by the Department of Labor.

Dependent spouses and children may accompany E-3 visa holders into the United States for up to two years at a time; extensions are possible without restrictions.

What is an E-3 Visa?

The E-3 visa is offered to Australian nationals who work in specialty occupations that require theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge. Similar to H-1B, however, there is no limit placed on how many new or existing E-3 workers may enter each fiscal year; extensions can also be granted at two-year increments.

An applicant for employment authorization in the US must be sponsored by an employer who can offer them the prevailing wage for their position, file an LCA with the Department of Labor, and give a copy to their beneficiary. After which, they should file nonimmigrant visa application at an appropriate US consate.

E-3 applications differ from many other temporary employment visas such as H-1B in that they can be submitted directly at a US consulate abroad for filing, shortening the application process and wait time significantly compared to other types of visas.

E-3 nonimmigrant workers may bring dependent spouses and children under 21 into the US as “employment-authorized incident to status”. Furthermore, unlike H-1B workers, E-3 workers don’t require USCIS approval before applying for their visa stamp at an US consate.

E-3 Visa Requirements

An E-3 Visa is a temporary work visa available to Australian citizens and can be extended indefinitely, allowing holders to bring along their family. Although it does not lead to permanent residency status after two years, certain conditions must be fulfilled to qualify.

To be eligible for an E-3 visa in the US, applicants must present evidence of employment from an American employer in a specialty occupation and hold either a bachelor’s degree or higher or have equivalent professional experience. It is often most cost-efficient and time efficient for these visa applications to be submitted directly at consular offices if residing abroad (premium processing not applicable for E-3s).

Form I-129 must be filed by an employer on behalf of their applicant. They must certify that no qualified US citizens could be found for this position and that the salary offered is fair and at or above prevailing wages for that occupation. They also need to submit academic credentials such as copies of degrees or transcripts for evidence.

Once a petition has been filed by an employer, employees must attend a visa interview at a US consulate abroad. At this interview, a consular officer will assess their qualifications, work experience, and nonimmigrant intent – failure to attend could result in denial of a visa.

E-3 Visa Process

The E-3 visa is a multiple entry nonimmigrant visa designed specifically to accommodate Australian citizens employed in “specialty occupations.” To be eligible, applicants must possess at least a bachelor’s degree and be employed by an employer that requires this level of education and pays at least the prevailing wage. Once issued, this visa may be extended indefinitely either within the US or at one of our Consulates abroad.

An experienced E3 visa attorney can advise on the most efficient application process for you. E-3 petitions can be filed with USCIS on Form I-129; processing times depend on whether it’s filed from within the US or at a consulate abroad.

E3 visa holders have the freedom and flexibility to work for multiple employers while in the US, making transitions between jobs relatively seamless. They can even bring family members over on dependent E-3 visas.

Like with any visa category, it is imperative that all guidelines and documentation required by the consular officer be strictly observed. Your interview is an opportunity for them to assess your qualifications, experience and nonimmigrant intent – an integral component in any immigration case and should be taken seriously by you and any accompanying family members. They will likely ask whether you intend on returning back home after spending some time in America as well as whether there will be anyone joining you later on.

E-3 Visa Interview

An E-3 Visa interview is a short meeting with an adjudicator who determines if you meet all requirements for this visa. At this interview, questions about your background, professional experience and planned job in the US will be asked of you as well as asking to see all supporting documents that were filed with the application for consideration by this adjudicator.

To be eligible for an E-3 visa, applicants must possess either a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience in a specialty occupation. Furthermore, you must be offered employment by a US company within this specialty occupation and the employer must file a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor describing your role, its duties and qualifications, duration of employment as well as its prevailing wage in the US.

Before applying for the E-3 visa with any US consulate or embassy, your LCA will need to be certified by the Department of Labor. Once complete, submit it along with Form I-129, letter of support from US employer, and copy of passport biographic pages for consideration.

E-3 visas offer numerous advantages, including being sponsored by your spouse and children. Their validity period lasts two years but can be renewed indefinitely as long as certain criteria are met; additionally, employers can transfer you between jobs without needing to leave the country, and there’s even an extended grace period of 60 days should your employment terminate unexpectedly.