How to Apply For an E3 Visa to Green Card 2016

The E-3 visa is an exclusive pathway to US immigration open only to Australian nationals, permitting them to work temporarily in specialty occupations for US employers.

E3 visa holders may pursue green cards through adjustment of status or consular processing; however, to do so they must first demonstrate nonimmigrant intent.

What is an E-3 Visa?

The E-3 work visa is a nonimmigrant work permit designed to allow Australian citizens to enter the United States in specialty occupations under the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA). A US employer must file a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor that certifies no qualified American worker can perform this specialty occupation at its prevailing wage; once approved, their employee can enter with E-3 status or change to it while already in country.

Initial visa validity can range between one and two years and may be extended indefinitely, as long as its sponsoring employer continues. Dependent spouses and children of E3 visa holders can also acquire dependent visa status; annual quota for E3 visas is 10,500 but this limit is often not reached; to extend E3 status within the US by filing an extension petition, or switch it overseas by visiting a US consulate abroad are two ways of switching.

E-3 Visa Requirements

Please keep the following in mind about this type of visa. First, it is only available to Australian citizens with job offers in the US that meet certain criteria – paying at least the prevailing wage and being specialty occupation jobs. Furthermore, temporary work arrangements must also exist and therefore it would not suit people seeking permanent residency status in America.

E-3 visa holders may enter for up to two years at a time and apply for further extensions indefinitely, while their dependent spouses and children may accompany them as E-3 Dependents. There is an annual cap of 10,500 E-3 visas; however, this has never been reached.

if you are interested in an E-3 visa, it is wise to retain a qualified Los Angeles immigration attorney to assist in its application. At Galstyan Law, our team has assisted many degree-holding Australians start working lives in America without delay – we can guide you through every stage of the application process so that your visa approval will not be delayed by unnecessary processes.

E-3 Visa Process

Australian citizens seeking temporary employment in the US will find that the E3 Visa process is relatively fast and straightforward. Once your US employer files an LCA with the Department of Labor, an E3 petition is filed with USCIS which includes supporting documents. Once approved by an adjudicator, an interview will take place where questions about your professional background, role offered to you as well as any connections between Australia and USA may be asked during a personal interview session.

The E3 Visa is specifically available to Australian citizens who have been offered employment in a specialty occupation in the US. It can allow you to work there for two years at a time and be renewed indefinitely, provided all requirements are met. You can add dependent spouses and children as dependents who can stay with you permanently – we suggest consulting an experienced immigration lawyer in order to submit all documentation on time.

E-3 Visa Extension

Initial E-3 status may be granted for up to two years, with extension possible indefinitely every two years thereafter. There is no regulatory restriction limiting how long an Australian professional may remain eligible to hold this visa status; as long as all eligibility requirements continue to be fulfilled.

If an Australian worker changes jobs within the US, their new employer must file a new E-3 petition with USCIS along with an LCA for her E-3 status to remain intact while seeking approval of this petition; otherwise she must return home before her new petition can be approved by USCIS.

Applying for an E-3 visa extension or change at a consulate abroad may be the optimal strategy if the foreign national is outside the U.S. It tends to be faster and less costly than filing with U.S. employer for extension inside country.

E-3 Visa Transfer

The E-3 visa is an attractive choice for Australian citizens who have received employment offers in the US. Compared with H-1B visas, this work visa can be more easily acquired at lower costs; furthermore, E-3 visas permit spouses to work alongside them.

As long as you possess a valid passport and fulfilled all requirements for an E-3 visa, you are free to change jobs (transfer it) at any time; however, you must only change with employers that sponsored your original visa application.

Galstyan Law’s Los Angeles-based attorneys at Galstyan Law are experienced at helping Australians start a new life in America with E-3 visa applications and help Australians start their American journeys successfully. Contact us now to arrange a consultation.