How Long Can You Stay in the US on an E-3 Visa?

E-3 visas allow Australian citizens to temporarily work in the US temporarily through employment-based visas such as E-3. It should be remembered, however, that E-3 does not lead to permanent residency or green cards; hence it should only be used for temporary employment-based work visas of up to two years’ duration at any one time. Therefore it is crucial that Australian applicants plan ahead and collect all of the necessary paperwork before submitting their applications – in addition to valid passport documents these usually include:

At the beginning of the process, your employer must file a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor. This step requires them to verify your degrees and work experience that qualify you for this position, while also showing there are no strikes, lockouts or work stoppages impacting occupation at the time the LCA was filed.

Once your LCA is approved, your employer can submit a petition with USCIS for you as a nonimmigrant worker. This petition should include your job description, position information, qualifications assessment results and evidence that meets these standards. Finally, an USCIS officer will conduct your visa interview where they assess eligibility and determine if you are suitable candidate for visa issuance.

Importantly, your employment as an E-3 must begin before the end date listed on your I-797 Approval Notice. However, you may request up to 60 days grace period should your employment circumstances change or should you need to temporarily depart the country for any reason.

To maintain E-3 status, you must remain employed in an occupation defined by USCIS as being directly related to your field of study and earning the minimum prevailing wage in your specialty occupation. You also must maintain a valid passport and demonstrate a commitment to returning home at the conclusion of your stay in America.

If you wish to extend your E-3 visa stay in the US, first submit a new Labor Condition Application and Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker with USCIS. During an interview, a USCIS officer will assess your qualifications, work history and nonimmigrant intent – for instance demonstrating full-time employment in your specialty occupation with an US company is essential.

E3 visa holders have two options when applying for an extension: either at an American embassy or consulate abroad or from within the US. Either way, they will need to present evidence such as their LCA and an appointment letter from their US-based employer; additionally their spouse and children must present passports as proof of relationship to you.