E3 Spouse Visa – How to Apply For an E3 Spouse Visa to Work in the US

e3 spouse visa

An E-3 visa holder’s spouse can work in the US with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Each renewal period for this document lasts two years.

Family members can experience America first-hand while also taking advantage of all its opportunities.

How to Apply

The E-3 visa provides Australian citizens who wish to bring their spouse and children into the US an excellent solution, allowing them to work and live there with unlimited visa renewals – cheaper than H1B visa and potentially leading to Green Cards.

To apply for an E3 spouse visa, applicants will require the following documents: A certified Labor Condition Application (ETA 9035), letter from your employer offering employment in a specialty occupation at or exceeding the prevailing wage for that position, academic credentials demonstrating your qualifications to perform the task in question and academic/other credentials confirming qualification to perform it. E-3 visa applications can either be filed directly at a US Consulate abroad or through changing status with USCIS Service Center – however direct filing may save time and money by bypassing filing fees associated with filing an I-129 petition petition

If you opt for filing at the consulate, an interview will need to be scheduled with an Embassy official who will review and assess your information provided to them and make a determination based on these evaluations. In order to be approved by them, proof will need to be given that both you and your family plan on returning back home once your work in America has concluded.

Documents Needed

Step one of applying for an E-3 spouse visa involves finding employment in the US – this can be accomplished from Australia by searching job boards or conducting video conferences with employers. When you have secured an offer of employment in America, step two can commence – visa application process together with your US employer.

As part of your US employment contract, both you and your US employer must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA). This verifies that you will receive a fair prevailing wage while being treated fairly; furthermore, this also guarantees that your job won’t adversely impact on wages or working conditions of US workers. In addition to an LCA certificate you’ll require certified copies of your degree equivalency document, passport photos and forms of ID to complete this process.

If your occupation requires licensure, proof that this has been obtained or that an application for licensure will be filed within an acceptable timeframe will be necessary to do so. Furthermore, your specialty occupation should also be listed on O*NET website for registration.

If you plan to bring children with you, they will require their own passports and LCA. After being admitted into E3 status, once you apply for E3, your children can apply with USCIS for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which allows them to legally work in the US for two years and can be renewed indefinitely.


The E-3 visa provides Australian citizens seeking employment in the US with many attractive advantages that make it an appealing route. Notably, its application fees are much lower than other US work visa routes and its ability to bring family members (spouse and children) with you is a considerable plus.

E3 visa fees cost $205 USD and do not include Fraud Prevention Fee, ACWIA filing or LCA processing costs – unlike other routes. Furthermore, no premium processing service is offered with E-3 applications.

Once a petition has been filed, an interview may be scheduled with either the US consulate or embassy abroad based on your location and this process typically takes between 4-6 weeks to complete.

People already residing in the US who need to change or extend their status may elect consular processing and receive approval almost instantly; however, this route usually takes longer than filing for such changes with USCIS in country.

E3 visa holders enjoy many advantages, such as being able to bring spouses and children along for the journey and transition between employers while remaining in the US. Furthermore, this work visa can be renewed indefinitely with ease, making it attractive both employees and HR teams. Whenever applying for any work visa it is always wise to seek professional advice regarding requirements and application processes, NNU Immigration offers this assistance and works hard to ensure all necessary paperwork is collected to increase chances of a successful outcome.

Processing Time

The E3 nonimmigrant work visa enables Australians to seek employment in specialty occupations in the US. Spouses of E-3 principal applicants may apply to USCIS for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which will allow unrestricted employment within the country without meeting bachelor degree or sponsor employer criteria. Spouses do not need a bachelor’s degree and do not need to sponsor another company to find work as self-employed freelancers or employed by themselves or by another business.

The application procedure for an E3 Spouse Visa is relatively straightforward and less time consuming than that for an H1B visa. Your primary task will be locating employment in your desired occupation in the US – you can do this from Australia over Skype interviews until you find one suitable to your qualifications.

Once you accept an employment offer, your employer can file Form ETA 9035 to secure LCA certification and demonstrate that no qualified US workers were available for your position while offering you an acceptable salary.

Once your employer has obtained LCA certification, you can assemble all necessary documents and arrange an interview at a US Consulate in your home country. A consulate official will evaluate your case and ask questions about your background and job in the US; be sure to indicate clearly that this employment will only be temporary and that you intend on returning home once completed.