Transferring E3 Visa to a New Employer

If you are an Australian citizen working on an E-3 visa in the US, switching employers typically requires filing a new petition at a Consulate abroad and transfer of your E-3 status.

Submitting an E3 visa petition directly through USCIS may take longer and be more costly. With this alternative option, your time and costs savings could be significant.

What is an E3 Visa?

The E3 visa is available to Australian nationals who have been offered employment in the United States that requires their special skills and knowledge. A maximum of 10,500 E3 visas may be granted each year; renewal may occur indefinitely. Employees can only work for their sponsoring company while licensure requirements (such as professional licenses) must be fulfilled prior to admission into the US.

The E-3 visa offers several advantages over its H1B counterparts. Notably, it does not impose a quota limit, and both spouses of visa holders are eligible to work simultaneously.

Step one of this process requires the US employer to file an I-129 petition on behalf of an employee. This can be completed either in-person or online and includes premium processing that ensures a decision within 15 days for an additional fee. Applicants must possess valid passports to enter the US, and will also need to attend an interview at either a consulate or embassy for review of petition and supporting documents.

E3 Visa Requirements

An E3 visa requires both a valid Australian passport and job offer from a US employer in a specialty occupation, along with meeting educational and professional requirements for that field of work; in most cases this means possessing either a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience (although in certain instances work experience may suffice as substitute education), though experience may sometimes suffice in its place. Furthermore, your profession might require licensure; to meet those criteria as well.

Once you have the required documentation in hand, filing an E3 visa petition with USCIS can be filed quickly. Processing times depend on whether or not you’re seeking a change of status or applying directly for an E3 visa; typically taking 4-8 months depending on which option is chosen (if applying directly for E3, this could range between several days to weeks).

Once your E3 visa has been approved, travel to the US. Make sure to bring along your passport, visa and copy of the approved LCA. These items will need to be presented when entering the country for immigration inspection purposes. In addition, it must also provide evidence that you intend to depart when your visa expires – either through letter from your employer or an affidavit signed by yourself.

E3 Visa Premium Processing

The E3 visa is an ideal solution for Australian citizens wishing to live and work temporarily in the United States, offering fast processing times, low costs, spouse/child travel privileges and the flexibility of transitioning between employers. One key advantage is ease of transfer: unlike other US work visa options, E3 holders already in America can apply for change of status to join their new employer without leaving and going through lengthy consular processes.

Before recently, when an E-3 visa holder needed to extend their status or switch jobs, they had to travel abroad and obtain a new E3 visa at one of the US Consulates abroad – an arduous and time-consuming process often caused by COVID-19 pandemic delays and embassy backlogs.

On February 24th 2021, USCIS expanded their premium processing service for E-3 visa applications by accepting additional fees to expedite its adjudication within 15 calendar days – this provides current and prospective workers with an excellent opportunity for expedited processing. Regardless of this change, petitioners still must complete and submit a comprehensive application and supporting documents to meet eligibility.

E3 Visa Interview

The E3 visa provides Australians looking to work in the US with several advantages over its H1B counterpart. These advantages include lower costs and quicker processing times – plus being able to bring spouse and children along for the ride – without an annual quota limit; green cards may even be sought after six years! In order to apply, applicants must complete form DS-160 online nonimmigrant visa application and arrange an interview with a consular officer.

An adjudicator will assess your application and supporting documents to assess if you meet all of the criteria of your visa application. They may pose questions related to job offers, education histories and travel history during this process.

US Embassy Sydney currently has the longest wait time for visa interviews, which means applicants should anticipate a lengthy process and delays in the near future. We suggest applicants take measures to ensure their applications are comprehensive and up-to-date in order to avoid unnecessary delays or requests for additional evidence. It is also crucial that applicants understand current processing leadtimes in relation to travel and work plans as the pandemic has had an enormous effect on visa processing backlogs at embassies around Australia and New Zealand.