How Long Does an E3 Visa Take to Process?

Time taken to process an E3 visa depends on many factors. The initial step should be finding an employer in the US willing to sponsor your application – something which can be accomplished remotely from Australia via Skype interviews until a suitable job offer has been received and accepted, at which point your employer will begin the visa application process on your behalf.

Next, have your employer submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor to ensure that their job does not displace any American workers and before filing with USCIS for your visa application. This step typically takes seven days.

Once the LCA is approved, your employer will submit an I-129 petition with USCIS in order to prove that you meet all visa requirements – this can take up to seven days before it’s sent off to an appropriate US Consulate for interview – length of time will depend on current processing times at each US Consulate and length may also vary based on where they’re being interviewed at.

Filing an E3 visa change of status petition and applying for a new E-3 visa are two very distinct processes. A change of status petition must go through USCIS Vermont Service Center before being approved; on the other hand, applying directly with US Consulates typically only takes a short interview session with their consular officer.

If you already reside in the US with an approved change of status petition, submitting an E3 visa application directly to a Consulate may be quicker than filing another petition with USCIS. In some instances, you could even get your visa within five to seven days after making this submission – useful if traveling outside the country for work requires you to secure visa approval ahead of time.

Another advantage of the E3 visa is its flexibility for switching jobs within the US – something not available with other employment-based visas. Should your employment end voluntarily or involuntarily, you have up to 60 days from termination date to find new work and remain in the country while searching. If you leave during this time frame, an amended petition with USCIS or an application at a US Consulate must be submitted accordingly.

Keep this in mind when applying for an E3 visa: it is nonimmigrant and should not lead to a green card. Any attempt at applying for one while holding such visa will likely be rejected as this shows immigrant intent that cannot qualify you for this type of status.