What is E3 Visa Category?

The E-3 visa category permits US employers to temporarily hire Australian citizens in specialty occupations. At International Students and Scholars Center, we can assist employers in filing an E-3 petition for any new hire, change in status or extension/amendment of stay.

Specialty occupations are professional positions that involve the application of highly specialized knowledge through theory and practice, and have been established as requiring at least a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) as a minimum requirement to enter in the United States. Examples of specialty professions may include engineers, architects, software developers, computer programmers, teachers lecturers pharmacists agronomists veterinarians physical therapists.

Contrary to its H-1B counterpart, E-3 visas do not impose an annual numerical cap. Instead, an employer must first file a labor condition application (LCA). Once this step has been taken, an employee may then apply for their E-3 visa at any U.S. consulate overseas.

LCAs must be approved by the Department of Labor before an E-3 visa can be granted, so our ISSC team can prepare an LCA on behalf of an employee to file with them for certification by DOL. Once submitted and accepted by DOL, workers can then apply at a consulate overseas for an E-3 visa.

An E-3 visa requires applicants to have been offered employment by an US sponsoring company and hold a specialty occupation that pays at or above the prevailing wage. A copy of their LCA (Legal Career Assessment Certificate) should also be included with their E-3 application as well as documents showing equivalent experience.

E-3 applicants must fulfill both educational requirements and evidence of financial support by way of bank statements, tax returns or proof of assets. As additional proof they can demonstrate this via having their spouse and children obtain E-3D visas.

Though an E-3 visa is non-immigrant work visa, family members of E-3 visa holders can apply for permanent residency once they have resided for several months and met all requirements. E-3 holders may also follow this same process to secure their green cards.

E-3 visa applicants must possess the intent of entering the United States on a temporary basis and returning home at the conclusion of their stay, so applying at a consulate usually won’t get approved; those intending on immigrating are generally denied work visas by consulates in Australia; an exception would be those who can prove they reside there and thus reapplying once six-month employment period has expired – which means it can often be faster to apply at consulates than filing for change of status inside America; hence many individuals opting to apply at consates instead of filing from within US borders for E-3 work visa applications.