How Long Does E3 Visa Last?

The E3 visa provides Australian nationals working in “specialized occupations”, defined as any field requiring at least a bachelor’s degree, the opportunity to work in the US for 2 years that may be extended indefinitely. Furthermore, spouses of E3 holders can now gain employment authorization and work. All they require to obtain employment authorization in America is having the code (E-3S) on their I-94 record as well as maintaining visa status in this country – an invaluable advancement as previously E-3S spouses were only able to work through their spouse’s employer if applying for an EAD, which could take 6+ months with only 12-18 month validity.

If you are currently employed on an E3 visa and wish to extend it, USCIS requires that a petition be submitted either within or outside of the United States; though outside is generally faster. You can also utilize Premium Processing which expedites this process further.

Once your USCIS petition has been approved, the next step will be an interview at an appropriate consulate to assess your qualifications, work experience and nonimmigrant intent. Please bring all supporting documents such as copies of petition, LCAs and any other pertinent paperwork with you for this meeting.

Should your job change, or companies switch hands, your petition and LCA must also be amended accordingly and/or an E3 visa applied for at the US Consulate abroad instead of filing it within the United States.

When in doubt about whether or not you will be eligible to work, consult an experienced immigration attorney. They will guide you through the process and explain how long your visa will be valid and any options for extending it.

As opposed to the H-1B visa, which has long been the go-to work permit of choice for US employers and workers alike, E-3 visas are limited to only 10,000 new permits annually. If you intend to follow this path, it is wise to start the application process well in advance of when you intend to start work in order to ensure all requirements can be fulfilled and have the best chance of receiving an extension immediately. Contact us with your inquiries or concerns and we would be more than glad to assist you. As a full-service law firm specializing in immigration matters, we’re here for every step of your journey and are here for every concern that arises along the way. Our team includes attorneys and support staff fluent in multiple languages who possess extensive experience handling complex immigration cases. We offer services ranging from assistance with filling out immigration forms to representing our clients in immigration court proceedings.