How Long Does It Take to Get an E3 Visa?

how ong does it take to get an e3 visa

E3 visas were specifically created for Australian nationals seeking to come to the US and perform services in specific professions, unlike their more popular H1B counterpart. Furthermore, E3s do not impose annual numerical limitations and allow dependent spouses and children to accompany them into the country.

Step one of obtaining an E3 visa involves finding a position with an employer willing to sponsor you for it in the United States. Once this step has been accomplished, your sponsoring employer must file a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor that verifies they could not find qualified US workers at or above prevailing wage for your position. Once approved by them, submit it along with copies of job offer letter and academic credentials to USCIS for processing.

To qualify for an e3 visa, you must work in a “specialty occupation.” This category of jobs encompasses positions which involve both theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge. To qualify, at minimum you should possess either a bachelor’s degree in your chosen field of study or the equivalent amount of professional experience gained through years of work experience. For your own reference, USCIS maintains a list of such occupations which you can review to ascertain if your intended job fits this description.

An e3 visa may be less complex than its H1B counterpart, but still takes considerable effort and time. The application process typically includes gathering necessary supporting documents before attending a US Consulate interview or Vermont Service Center interview for consideration of an e3 visa application. Once obtained, its validity lasts for up to two years before it must be renewed in order to remain legal status in the US.

Once you hold an E3 visa, switching jobs at any time is possible provided your new employer files a visa petition and LCA with USCIS. However, to work in a specialized occupation you will be required to provide proof of eligibility or an ability to acquire this license within an acceptable amount of time.

Although you can apply directly at a US consulate abroad, filing a change of status with USCIS at one of their Vermont Service Centers may be easier and will allow you to take advantage of their optional premium processing service that guarantees a decision within 15 calendar days at an extra fee of $1,440.