The E3 D Visa – A Popular Choice For Australians Looking to Work in the US

If you want to work in the United States, the E3 visa could be the ideal solution. It was created specifically for Australian citizens with highly specialized knowledge in specialty occupations; it should be noted however, that this visa is temporary in nature.

Your spouse and children can join you as E-3D dependents; however, the US does not recognize de facto relationships for immigration purposes.

Job offer

E-3 visas are an increasingly popular choice among Australian professionals seeking employment in the US. Based on the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement, these work visas are much easier to secure than others such as H-1Bs. Furthermore, E-3 holders can bring along their spouse and/or children.

E-3 visas are issued through US Consulates abroad and require an interview with a consular officer in order to assess eligibility. They’ll ask about your background, job offer and what role they envision you fulfilling once in the US. You should also prepare supporting documents.

To qualify for an E-3 visa, your position must be full time and pay a salary that complies with Department of Labor wage requirements. Furthermore, you need a valid passport and completed Form DS-160 of the online nonimmigrant visa application process – plus it would be wise to hire an immigration attorney as support before your interview takes place.

An E-3 visa may seem complex at first glance, but the end results more than make up for this difficulty. An E-3 allows you to live and work in the United States while your family can join soon after arrival. Furthermore, you can even change employers with this visa by filing a petition and LCA with each new employer.

Labor condition agreement (LCA)

Employers in the US must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) when hiring nonimmigrant visa applicants who require specialized knowledge for positions that require nonimmigrant visas, in order to demonstrate they will make reasonable efforts before hiring foreign workers and will pay at least the prevailing wage in that occupation. An LCA is public document and should be posted for 10 days at two locations at their worksite before being reported quarterly to the Department of Labor.

The Labor Condition Application (LCA) must include information such as job title, prevailing wage and anticipated length of employment for new positions as well as whether existing ones will change; whether there will be nonimmigrant workers hired by the company and signatory information of each. Alternatively, electronic applications can be filed directly through FLAG system with Department of Labor; they will review your application within seven working days and if you pass without errors will be “certified”, permitting visa applications to proceed further.

UW units interested in E-3 sponsorship should contact ISO early in their decision-making process to confirm compliance with Department of Labor requirements and ensure all necessary documentation can be easily accessible for inspection by anyone requesting it.

Employment authorization document (EAD)

An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) allows you to legally be employed in the US. It is granted by USCIS after your company files an LCA for you. An EAD lasts up to 3 years before renewal is necessary.

Apply for Employment Authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. This can be done online or by mail and requires submission of several documents such as copies of your passport and proof of identity for yourself and any dependents, the Labor Condition Application form (LCA), as well as an explanation from your employer as to why your occupation qualifies as a specialty occupation, the duties involved with that position, and proposed salary information.

If your EAD expires before it has been renewed, the entire application process must start over from scratch. This involves providing documents and paying fees as before; you can also request an expedited request, although government consideration of each request varies; healthcare and childcare workers usually get priority consideration as these roles are essential positions.

Establishing an EAD can be a complex and time-consuming process, so it is wise to start the application early before your current one expires.

Spouse and dependents

The E-3 visa allows your spouse and children to join you in the United States. Spouses may apply for an Employment Authorization Document that allows them to work legally – an advantage over H1B which only permits employment through sponsors. It lasts up to 2 years but may be renewed indefinitely at less cost than its H1B equivalent.

Spouses and children of E-3 visa holders do not count towards the annual quota limit of 10,500 visas; spouses can obtain Social Security numbers while children can attend schools in the US; postsecondary studies (not related to employment) can also be pursued – although any support offered from universities like research assistantships would not count.

Family members in E-3, H-4, O-3 and TD status can only remain in the U.S. so long as their principal visa holder stays within its borders, with possible short absences for travel abroad. If either spouse or child lose their status as an E-3 holder they must return home and re-apply at their respective embassy or consulate before applying again – however this status could remain intact if principal reapplies for another E-3 visa or transfers onto another one.