How to Stamp an E3 Visa for a Spouse at the Consulate

How long it will take your spouse to obtain an E3 visa at the consulate will depend on a number of different factors; from days to weeks depending on whether they filed a change of status petition or applied directly at their US Consulate abroad.

Change of status petitions are typically processed at the Vermont Service Center while visa applications are generally submitted directly to one of Australia’s U.S. Consulates. Ultimately, your experience could depend on when and how quickly your application was filed as well as other factors like type of visa requested and timing of filing process.

If you are already present in the United States on another visa such as an F-1 student, B-1 visitor, or H-1B status, an E-3 Visa application should be filed with Vermont Service Center using a change of status petition. Processing times can vary widely so try applying at least 6 months in advance of anticipated expiration dates.

Alternately, E3 Visa applications may also be submitted directly at an American Embassy or Consulate abroad. This method is particularly advantageous if you plan to travel outside the U.S. and would rather avoid returning for stamp reissuance later.

When applying for an E-3 visa at a Consulate abroad, the following documents must be presented:

Your employer must submit a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA), showing they are offering you work in a specialty occupation and that the wage meets or exceeds prevailing rate in that profession. Furthermore, proof of your educational qualifications (such as evaluation reports of prior courses taken or transcripts of degree(s), may also be needed).

Once you have submitted all necessary requirements, the next step will be attending an interview at your local embassy or consulate with a consular officer who will evaluate your qualifications, work experience and nonimmigrant intent. This process could last from several hours up to several days.

If your E-3 visa application has been successful, your spouse can join you by filing an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) application through USCIS Form I-765. If they are not Australian citizens however, an interview for their individual EAD will need to take place – please see this article for more details.