What is an E-3 Visa?

The E-3 visa, created by Congress through an Act, is a nonimmigrant work visa reserved solely for nationals of Australia that require theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge in their occupation. While it offers great opportunities for Australians aspiring to start new careers in the US, there are some key elements they should keep in mind prior to making this move.

Contrary to H-1B visas, which can be obtained within the US, an E-3 visa must first be secured outside. An employer must file an LCA with the Department of Labor in order for this process to work and then have their employee apply at a US Embassy or Consulate for this visa.

An E-3 visa requires several prerequisites in order to secure it, including possessing a valid passport, having completed or currently being enrolled in an educational program or equivalent professional experience in their field of employment, possessing either a bachelor’s degree or higher, but years of professional experience could also suffice as adequate education and the position must pay the prevailing wage (in many cases this will qualify the individual for their E-3 visa).

As an additional benefit, spouses and children (under 21) of E-3 visa holders are also eligible to live and work in the US with an appropriate LCA approved LCA copy, and an I-134 form supporting them. In order to do this, however, they must possess valid passports, an LCA approved copy, and complete form I-134 Affidavit of Support form.

Processing times for E-3 visa applications will depend on a variety of circumstances in each individual case. As a general guideline, petitions filed outside of the US generally take longer to process than ones presented directly at consulates, while an individual’s immigration status also plays a part in how quickly this process can be concluded.

Once they have submitted all necessary documents to USCIS and received approval of their visa application, individuals should wait for notification that it has been granted. Once granted, individuals can travel to the US where they should carry their passport, LCA copy and letter from employer during travels.

Galstyan Law’s Los Angeles E-3 visa attorneys have extensive experience helping many Australians transition into the American workforce. If you’re ready to start your journey, reach out and schedule a consultation – we are here for every step of the process – from document preparation and helping your family with immigration needs all the way through to meeting you! We look forward to meeting you!