E3 Visa to Green Card 2017

The E3 visa is an employment-based US nonimmigrant work visa exclusive to Australian nationals working in occupations requiring practical and theoretical application of specialized knowledge.

However, while on this visa it is illegal to pursue immigrating intent and cannot apply for a green card via visa or adjustment of status channels, however there may still be ways around this limitation.

What is an E3 visa?

An E3 visa is a nonimmigrant visa available to Australian citizens who possess either a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in work experience and possess an offer of employment from a specialty occupation in the US. It lasts for two years but may be renewed indefinitely and even allows their spouses and children to reside and work there as well.

The E3 visa provides several advantages to both employers and employees alike. Its low costs and quick processing times make it an attractive option for U.S. companies looking to hire top talent from Australia; alternatively, its simplicity may provide relief to individuals trying to circumnavigate the often complex H1B application process.

E3 visa holders don’t need to submit an I-129 petition or attend a USCIS interview, saving both time and money. Furthermore, this visa provides an ideal solution for anyone who plans on staying temporarily as it doesn’t lead to permanent residency status or green card status.

However, if an employee intends to become a permanent resident in the future, they will need to file an I-140 petition through their employer. Unfortunately, visas don’t accommodate for immigration intent so if consular officials suspect an individual of seeking permanent residency they will deny them entry.

E3 visa requirements

The E3 visa is open to Australian nationals who hold job offers in specific occupations and meet academic requirements, and allows dependent family members to accompany the visa holder. With an annual numerical limit of 10,500 visas being awarded annually, its benefits make this visa an appealing alternative to its more popular H1B counterpart.

An E3 visa application starts by securing a firm job offer from a US employer and their filing of a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with USCIS; your prospective employer will then become your sponsor, filing the LCA on your behalf with the USCIS and becoming your sponsor. In addition, additional documentation must be submitted such as letters of reference from former employers, certificates or licenses related to your profession and educational credentials; final steps include meeting with a consular official of US consular officer in person for interview purposes.

Once you possess all of the required documents, you have two options for filing for a change of status in the US or abroad: applying at an US consulate requires additional fees and processing time for visa approval; should you choose this latter route, additional costs and wait times will apply.

Note that an E3 visa does not lead to permanent residency; should your application demonstrate immigrant intent that is illegal, USCIS will deny your green card application.

E3 visa application process

Steps involved in obtaining an E3 visa include several components. First, you must secure a US employer who will sponsor you by conducting Skype interviews until an offer meets your career goals. Once this step has been accomplished, employers must submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the Department of Labor which certifies that their job pays at least the prevailing wage in its region while offering working conditions comparable to US workers.

Once your LCA has been approved, you may submit your visa application at an Embassy or Consulate abroad of the United States. This process could take anywhere from two weeks up to several months depending on how busy each embassy is.

Once your application has been received by an embassy or consulate, an interview will be scheduled in which they assess your academic qualifications and work experience to assess whether you qualify for a visa. After this interview is concluded, they will review all necessary documents before issuing your visa allowing you to begin work in the United States.

E3 visa renewal

The E3 visa is available to Australian professionals who want to move to the US to work in specialty occupations. It does not have annual numerical limitations and may be extended indefinitely; additionally, its cost and accessibility make it cheaper and simpler than H1B visas. E3 holders may bring dependent spouses and children along for work purposes and even employ them using an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

An E3 visa applicant must first secure a job offer from an US employer and meet specific visa criteria, such as possessing at least three years’ relevant experience and earning at least a bachelor’s degree in their area of expertise; they also must demonstrate that their job will pay a fair prevailing salary; in addition, an LCA filer must file with the Department of Labor on their behalf.

Once an LCA application has been approved, USCIS can process your E3 visa application within four weeks – although you may pay a premium fee to speed up this process if desired.

Once an E3 visa application has been approved, applicants will be given a new “stamp” in their passport that allows them to travel and start work in the US.