How Long to Receive Form I-797 After Filing For E3 Visa?

If you are an alien attempting to obtain work authorization in the US, filing for an E-3 Visa will result in receiving a Form I-797 as evidence that USCIS received your petition and also providing your priority date which can help determine where in line you stand for adjustment of status, green card processing or consular processing.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses priority dates to monitor individual applications and petitions. As long as your priority date remains current, adjusting status or applying for visas without going through consular processing should remain possible; otherwise you must wait in line until it reverts back into an active status again.

USCIS can take up to 180 days to approve an application, during which you must maintain employment and not travel outside the country – otherwise you risk forfeiting your visa and being unable to return home.

If you plan to travel overseas before your I-797 application has been processed, OISS must be informed immediately. Otherwise, leaving the United States before receiving an approved visa could jeopardize its return and be ineligible for entry back into the U.S.

There are, however, exceptions to this rule. If you leave for short trips like visiting family, then a valid visa stamp can be brought back with you upon your return. For longer term trips of more than one month’s duration however, additional documents will need to be obtained at a consulate or embassy before applying for another stamp.

An E-3 visa can be issued for up to two years at a time and extended indefinitely. It can be obtained by either filing for a change of status at USCIS or applying at a port of entry – although the former option is usually quicker and easier.

To obtain an E-3 visa successfully, it is essential for both departments and employees to plan ahead. FSIS recommends making their request at least two months in advance in order to allow enough time for approval of LCAs and other documents by the Department of Labor.

Other required documents, in addition to a completed E-3 request form, include a certified Form ETA 9035E from the Department of Labor, departmental support letters and passport-style photographs meeting DOS nonimmigrant visa photo requirements. Employers should also provide details about temporary employment positions including job responsibilities and salaries along with education evaluation reports that verify candidates eligibility for specialty occupations; it is vital that this information reaches the Department of State as soon as possible.