How Can an E3 Visa Apply For a Green Card?

The E3 visa is open to Australian nationals who hold job offers in specialized occupations within the US. Additionally, spouse and children of these visa holders may work.

Visas may be obtained either by leaving the US and applying at a consulate abroad or filing a change-of-status petition with USCIS from within it.

Qualifications

The E3 visa provides Australian citizens looking to work in the US an excellent opportunity. This visa enables professionals to remain for two years with potential extensions; qualification criteria includes having attained at least a bachelor’s degree in their field and meeting minimum wage requirements (at least equaling or surpassing the prevailing wages in their county and state).

To be eligible for an E3 visa, applicants must possess both a bachelor’s degree in their chosen field of study and at least two years of professional experience working in their profession. Furthermore, specialty occupations must require either (1) the theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge or (2) attainment of high levels of accomplishment in your field or (3) both. Furthermore, your employer must be registered as a US corporation and file an LCA with the Department of Labor to demonstrate that their job pays fair prevailing wages without jeopardizing wages and working conditions of US workers.

Once your employer has submitted the LCA, you must submit Form ETA 9035 along with other documentation required by the Department of Labor. This includes educational certificates and licenses, letters of reference from prior employers and evidence of your work experience. In addition to that step, an interview must take place at either an US Embassy or consulate where a consular officer will assess your qualifications to see if you meet their criteria for visa consideration.

Work Experience

If you are an Australian national who would like to work in the United States, the E-3 visa may be applicable. This visa allows US employers to hire Australian citizens in specialty occupations. The process for qualifying can be complex; you must first secure a firm job offer from a US employer which qualifies as specialty work and have them file with the Department of Labor an appropriate labor certification in order to prove no qualified American worker is available at an acceptable wage level.

The E-3 visa is valid for two years, renewable indefinitely, and allows spouses and children to work freely without restrictions. To extend it further, an extension petition must be submitted with USCIS; processing time usually ranges between four and eight months for decision.

An E-3 visa may be applied for at a US consulate abroad or domestically. Applying internationally tends to be quicker. When applying, submit certain documentation such as your job offer letter, Form ETA 9035 and academic credentials to ensure a speedier processing time at your application appointment.

Employer

Your employer must agree to sponsor your visa and have secured an employment opportunity that fulfills the criteria of your occupation in the US. If unsure of your qualifications for an E-3 visa, it would be prudent to consult an experienced immigration attorney.

To apply for an E-3 visa in the US, your United States-based employer must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA), ETA Form 9035 with the Department of Labor. Once submitted and approved by them, your employer will submit it along with your I-129 petition to Homeland Security for processing.

Australian passport holders who meet all educational and occupational criteria can obtain an E-3 visa that lasts for two years; your spouse can accompany you, with any children being granted E-3-D dependent visas for entry into the United States.

The E3 visa is an excellent way for Australian citizens to work in the US. Not only is it suitable for initial two-year periods, but unlike H-1B it does not impose an annual cap and can be renewed indefinitely; additionally it also allows an easy transition between employers as well as providing an extended termination grace period.

Documentation

E-3 visa applicants must submit several documents in order to become eligible for this work visa, such as Form ETA 9035 which proves their employer holds LCA certification, and a letter from your current employer outlining your duties and employment history. Furthermore, you’ll require at least six months validity in their passport and an I-134 Affidavit of Support which confirms they possess sufficient funds during their stay in the US.

An interview at a US Embassy is another requirement of visa application, where an officer will assess your application and ask you questions regarding your character, work experience and qualifications, nonimmigrant intent and other topics that pertain to nonimmigrator intent. At this interview it is essential that you answer honestly without suggesting you intend to remain permanently. Doing otherwise may jeopardize your chances for approval of the visa.

If your spouse and children wish to join you in the US, they can also apply for E-3 dependent visas. Unlike other working visas, E-3 holders’ spouses and children can legally work within US borders since this type of working visa allows both of them to apply for work authorization (via an Employment Authorization Document – or “EAD” in spouse cases), unlike any other working visa that only allows primary applicants apply for it. Furthermore, this process makes green card acquisition more challenging but nonetheless possible.