What is E-3 Visa?

what is e3 visa

The E-3 visa is a nonimmigrant work visa available to nationals of Australia. The initial visa and renewals are valid for two years. Spouses and children of E-3 employees derive their status from the principal E-3 visa holder.

Unlike H-1B, your US-based employer is not required to submit a petition for pre-approval with the USCIS prior to hiring you as an E-3. However, the USCIS has an annual limit of 10,500 initial E-3 visas.

What is a specialty occupation?

Generally, to qualify for E-3 status, you must be coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge that normally would require the attainment of at least a bachelor’s degree in the specific field of expertise.

USCIS reviews a number of criteria when determining whether an occupation qualifies as a specialty one. Among other things, they review the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), compare your job to jobs with similar titles in the same industry and assess your job duties.

USCIS may request additional evidence such as copies of degree certificates, transcripts from your university and/or previous employers, work experience that directly relates to your proposed duties at UH, or written expert opinions in order to determine if your position qualifies as a specialty occupation. If you receive an RFE from USCIS requesting further evidence, carefully review the request and provide all requested documentation.

What is the E-3 visa/status?

The E-3 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows Australian citizens to enter the United States to work in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is defined as one that requires “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge; the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the profession in the United States.” The E-3 visa can be granted in increments of up to two years, and extensions are available indefinitely. However, you must maintain an intention to depart the United States upon termination of your status.

To apply for an E-3 visa, you must submit Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative. You must also have a job offer from a US company, and the employer must obtain an LCA. The process is much faster when applied for at a US Consulate abroad, and the visa holders’ spouses and children can join them.

How do I apply for an E-3 visa/status?

There are several steps involved in applying for E-3 status. First, you must find a job with a US employer in your field of expertise. This can be done from Australia by having Skype interviews with multiple companies until you find one that is willing to hire you and pay a reasonable salary for your position.

Next, your employer must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor using ETA Form 9035. This certifies that the company will pay you at least the prevailing wage for your occupation.

The LCA can be expedited for an additional fee through premium processing, but the visa application itself is not eligible for this service. Once the petition is approved, you will need to travel to a US Consulate or Embassy abroad and receive your visa stamp in order to start work. This can be a long process, so it is important to take care of yourself and have a support system in place while going through this!

What are the requirements for an E-3 visa/status?

There are a number of requirements for an E-3 visa or status. These include: a US employer that sponsors your work visa, a certified LCA (Labor Condition Application), and evidence of your qualifications for the job.

The minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent; however, professional experience can also be substituted for this. Your employer must file a petition with the Department of Labor on your behalf and certify that the position meets the qualifications for an E-3 visa/status.

This can be done either inside or outside the United States. In general, applying at a consulate is faster than filing a change of status petition in the USCIS Vermont Service Center.

Once the petition is approved, Immigration Services will notify the beneficiary of the approval and provide a letter that can be used for admission to E-3 status. Beneficiaries should pay special attention to the letter to see if it checks off all of the requirements for an E-3.