What is E-3 Visa?

what is e3 visa

The E-3 visa category was specifically created for Australian nationals traveling to the US temporarily to work in specialty occupations. While similar nonimmigrant categories such as F-1, J-1 or H-1B exist, E-3 also allows direct application at US Embassy without needing to file I-129 petition with Department of Labor first.

E-3 visas are restricted to 10,500 per fiscal year and may be granted for an initial two year term with potential extensions in two-year increments. They are also available to dependents of principal visa holders.

To qualify for an E-3 visa, applicants must satisfy certain criteria:

Bachelor’s degree or three years of work experience equivalent. Three years of accumulated work experience is generally accepted as equivalent to earning a bachelor’s degree.

Employers willing to employ and sponsor visa candidates. A copy of their employment contract should be provided for review and processing by OISS.

Sponsoring departments must agree to accept responsibility for filing visa applications and supporting documentation for E-3 visa holders, who may transfer to new departments during their academic year or when their employment terminates; however, they may not change fields of study.

OISS will work closely with E-3 scholars to arrange this process and ensure a smooth experience in filing their I-129 petition with DHS.

As an alternative to applying for a new visa, scholars in E-3 status can seek an extension or change of status from DHS using Form I-129 or petition the Department for Change of Status on different visa categories. This option only available if scholars can show compelling reason why an extension or change of status are needed and why their continued stay is in the best interests of our nation.

DHS may extend a visa’s validity for up to 180 days if it has been abandoned, which can be beneficial for scholars admitted under different visa categories and who wish to remain in the US while their immigration status is being processed. If you wish to change or extend your E-3 status, please review these instructions for Incoming E-3s and Outgoing E-3s; here you’ll also find required documents, an application process guide, frequently asked questions (FAQs) as well as answers from OISS. We look forward to working together!