How Early Can I Apply E3 For a Visa?

If a US-based company wishes to employ an Australian national as an IT Manager, they must file for an E-3 visa on his or her behalf and secure an LCA from the Department of Labor before beginning employment in America.

An LCA is an official document that specifies job title and pay rate information of specialty occupations in the US, confirming that companies located there will pay the prevailing wage for them. Companies must maintain an LCA Public Access File in digital format that can be easily accessible to anyone requesting one; we prepare and manage PAFs on behalf of employers as well as filing their application with USCIS on their behalf.

The US federal government considers prevailing wage to be the hourly rate that should be reasonable for skilled workers in any occupation, calculated based on what other workers in similar roles and qualifications in your region are earning. While it doesn’t necessarily need to reflect your actual pay rate, but rather reflect market average for that specific occupation in that location.

In order to qualify for an E-3 visa in the US, a company must first demonstrate it is paying at least the prevailing wage. Usually this can be accomplished by providing copies of pay stubs or tax forms from previous years; if this requirement isn’t being met then additional documentation such as:

E-3 visa holders must possess at least a bachelor’s degree in their specialty occupation of choice. If this isn’t possible, applicants may still qualify by showing that their years of professional experience is comparable to a degree – typically by engaging a third party assessment firm to provide an equivalency opinion.

If the equivalents do not suffice, employees will need to submit copies of academic transcripts related to their field. Finally, US-based employers must submit a letter from their human resources department detailing duties and responsibilities of their specialty occupation and confirm whether their salary meets or surpasses prevailing wages in their region.

Once a USCIS petition has been approved, its beneficiary will need to attend a visa interview at one of our Consulates. A consular officer will assess their credentials and work history against all requirements necessary for an E-3 visa granting process; once granted it can be renewed in two year increments without leaving and reentering the US which provides numerous advantages over H-1B which requires changing of status within US borders in order to increase validity versus E-3 which only limits availability as time goes on.