What Is E3 Visa For Australian Citizens?

what is e3 visa in usa

The E-3 visa is an excellent option for Australians looking to work in the US. It accommodates more job roles than its TN counterpart and even permits spouses to be employed, though its requirements differ slightly from that of H-1B visa.

Applicant must demonstrate nonimmigrant intent and submit all the required documentation, with processing taking typically between 4-6 weeks depending on availability of appointments at a US Embassy or Consulate.


The E3 Visa allows US employers to hire Australian citizens in specialty occupations. Its validity lasts two years but may be extended indefinitely, not counting against the annual limit of 10,500 visas issued annually. Benefits of the visa include lower fees, faster processing times and smooth transitions between employers.

To apply for an E-3 visa in the US, you will first require an employer and job offer from within this country. Your employer should submit Form ETA 9035 to the Department of Labor to receive LCA approval; this process typically takes 5-10 business days before you can continue with the rest of your visa application process.

Once you have submitted all necessary documents, a consular officer will conduct a visa interview that assesses your qualifications and work experience; typically this takes around 30 minutes.

At your interview, be sure to bring all necessary supporting documents including an LCA, letter from your company and copy of passport. In addition, prepare a statement of intent regarding nonimmigrant status as well as proof of education background and skills required for occupation and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) which allows legal employment in the US.


The E3 visa is a work permit available to Australian citizens that allows them to work in specialty occupations in the US. These occupations typically require theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge; typically these pay the prevailing wage for that occupation. As this multiple entry visa, you can stay up to 24 months at once; if your job changes you will need to submit a new LCA and petition with USCIS.

The Labor Condition Approval (LCA) is a document that certifies you will receive fair prevailing wages and working conditions that match up with what they would experience if employed within the US. Note, however, that an LCA does not guarantee visa approval from USCIS; your application could still be denied on several grounds.

Once you have obtained an LCA and other documents, the next step will be making an appointment at the US Embassy either from Australia or internationally, depending on where your location may be. At your appointment, a US Embassy official will evaluate and interview you; they may ask about your job in the US, qualifications, intentions to return home and financial resources available to you – be prepared with answers!

Processing time

The E-3 visa is an ideal solution for Australian professionals looking to work in the US. This visa permits stays of up to two years with extensions possible indefinitely, as well as allowing dependent spouses and children to also work.

To be eligible for an E-3 visa in the U.S., applicants must hold an employment offer from a U.S. employer in an occupational specialty with the prevailing wage and require at least a bachelor’s degree – along with professional experience sufficient for qualification – for example three years of work experience can substitute one year of university-level education.

Submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) from your employer to the Department of Labor to certify that they will pay fair prevailing salaries and working conditions; further, that their hiring would not have an adverse impact on wages and employment opportunities for US employees. LCA filing is mandatory for E-3 visa applicants but employers do not need to submit an I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker with USCIS for this process to proceed.

Apply for an E3 visa through either the US Consulate outside the US or Visa Waiver Program; this process is much quicker than filing for change of status petition inside the US. However, please keep in mind that it could take up to one month before receiving it – please plan ahead!


The E3 visa for Australian citizens who wish to live and work in the United States can be an ideal solution, with minimal application costs and processing times as well as more flexibility than H1B visas and spouse employment eligibility. However, when applying for this type of visa a few key considerations must be kept in mind.

As part of your application for an E3 visa, your first step should be obtaining a letter of employment from your employer that details all your job responsibilities and required qualifications for each role as well as salary details and starting date. Submit this document along with Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker with USCIS for consideration.

Once your petition has been approved, you can then apply for an E-3 visa either inside the US or at an overseas consulate – the latter option being quicker and cheaper than filing for change of status within US territory.

E-3 visas are designed for occupations requiring theoretical and practical application of professional knowledge in specialty occupations. They are particularly ideal for individuals holding master’s degrees in relevant disciplines. Although there is a national annual cap of 10,500 E-3 visas, this has never been reached; each E-3 visa lasts two years with extensions possible every two years.