What Is an E3 Visa?

what is a e3 visa

The E3 visa provides Australian citizens who wish to live and work in the US an ideal solution. An alternative to H-1B status, this nonimmigrant classification permits workers to come temporarily into the country for specialty occupations that require either a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience. With faster processing times and the flexibility of moving employers while remaining in country, its many advantages over its predecessor make this the superior visa choice for Australian nationals looking for work visas in America.

USCIS defines specialty occupations as those which involve “the theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge”. To qualify for an E3 visa, applicants must possess at least a bachelor’s degree in their area of specialization as well as significant professional experience within their profession.

Like H-1B visas, E3 visas are also subject to limited supply each fiscal year and should therefore be applied for early. For optimal results when seeking an E3 visa application process it’s best to partner with an experienced immigration attorney and apply as early as possible.

E-3 visas are one of the few visa categories which do not require petition approval from USCIS prior to applying at a Consulate abroad, although in most cases an LCA must still be submitted on behalf of workers; this process typically takes three to five business days and can be done either personally or over the phone.

After receiving their LCA, workers can submit their visa application at a US Consulate in Australia. A letter from their prospective employer demonstrating they offer work in a specialty occupation at the prevailing wage for that county or state will also need to be provided along with proof that academic or other credentials meet minimum requirements for the position offered.

E-3 visa holders in the US can switch employers while on an E-3 visa by filing an amended petition and new LCA with USCIS and providing evidence of sufficient financial resources to support themselves throughout their stay here.

As with other visas, an E-3 visa typically lasts two years at first and may be extended further if all criteria for extension have been fulfilled; to do this, workers must submit Form I-129 for extension of status. It should be noted that an E-3 visa doesn’t lead to immigration intent in any form; individuals looking to immigrate must pursue different routes such as H-1B.