How to Get a Green Card on an E3 Visa

The E-3 visa is a nonimmigrant work visa available to Australian nationals who have been offered employment by an employer in the US in a specialty occupation. Holders can remain for two years with extensions available every two years and change employers as long as their new one files a Form I-129 petition in support of them; additionally their spouses can also work legally under their status and obtain green cards in similar fashion to H-1B holders.

The E3 visa stands out among employment-based visas like L-1B and H-1B for its many distinct advantages over similar options, including no annual cap on E-3 visa issuance and lack of restrictive “dual intent” doctrine, plus spouses of E-3 visa holders can gain citizenship through E3 status without waiting in long lines as happens with H-1B petitions for their spouses.

E-3 visa holders should keep one thing in mind, though: if they wish to ultimately immigrate permanently to the US, their status may need to change through either an adjustment of status application if already in the country or via an employer-filed immigrant petition petition while overseas.

If an E-3 visa holder changed their intent after entering the US and decided they wanted to pursue green card status through adjustment of status process, it may be possible for them to pursue it through adjustment of status process if their intention matched up with that originally expressed at entry time. Otherwise, this issue will likely prove very challenging.

There are multiple pathways available through an E-3 visa that could lead to permanent residency for its holders, including family, employment and investment-based immigration. Which path best fits a person will depend on their circumstances and needs.

As there is no universal solution to how to obtain an E3 visa, the right course of action for most applicants will likely involve seeking adjustment of status either while still in the United States or via consular processing. This will enable individuals to avoid potential dual intent issues. Consult a licensed immigration attorney about your unique circumstances to help identify what’s the best route forward; experienced lawyers can guide applicants through this complex and often confusing process. In particular, experienced immigration lawyers can assess whether any proposed U.S. job offers fit within specialty occupations that will benefit US economies; an essential step many applicants miss.