How Long Does An E3 Visa Last?

how long does an e3 visa last

The E-3 visa is a nonimmigrant work visa designed for Australian citizens seeking temporary employment in specialty occupations in the US. Unlike H-1B, which requires annual quotas and one year between extension requests, it can be extended indefinitely with limited restrictions – providing that workers remain within their occupation(s), up to two-year extensions may be granted without counting towards its limit of 10,500 visas per worker.

Qualifications for an E-3 visa typically include possessing at least a bachelor’s degree, three years of relevant work experience and proof of their skills and expertise within their field. Although some employers remain wary of sponsoring employees without degrees, this trend is becoming less common as employers understand its cost-effective and easy way of hiring talent professionals.

Employers must submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA), which must then be certified by the US Department of Labor. An LCA typically demonstrates that an offered position meets minimum education and experience requirements of an E-3 visa application and that wages paid at least meet prevailing wages in that field; it also must indicate whether employers intend to make reasonable efforts to retain employees; an ISSC attorney can help craft strong and accurate LCAs.

Once their LCA is approved, holders of E-3 visas can file for their visa at a US Consulate abroad – this option being the preferred method if already in the US with valid visa status and wanting to remain there. A consular interview may take anywhere between several weeks and several months depending on where the US Embassy or Consulate is located as well as completeness of application; premium processing services are also available that can speed up this process significantly.

To apply for an E-3 visa at a consulate, workers must bring with them an completed E3 application form, passport copy and any supporting documentation. A consular officer will review these items before conducting an interview to assess qualifications, work experience and nonimmigrant intent.

E-3 visa holders are free to switch jobs while in the United States, with transition usually being relatively seamless. Should an E-3 holder decide they’d like to leave their current employer and work elsewhere instead, however, they will need to file a change of status petition first and obtain new visa at a US consate before returning home in E-3 status; although if possible this process can be simplified if renewal takes place at their initial Consulate of Entry (COE).