Who is E-3 Visa For?

If you’re an Australian national planning to work in a specialty occupation in the US, an E-3 visa could be applicable to you. Established by Public Law 109-13, the E-3 classification permits Australian citizens to enter and work in specialty occupations within US borders – making the visa available both primary and dependent workers.

To qualify for an E-3 visa in the US, you must secure employment from a US employer and meet both educational and professional experience criteria outlined by your visa – this includes earning either a bachelor’s or higher degree related to your specialty occupation, or equivalent experience; receiving at least the prevailing wage for your position; as well as showing how it will contribute positively to the country.

Apply for an E-3 visa at any US consulate abroad; this is particularly advantageous if you live outside the US or will soon leave. Alternatively, filing a change of status application can also work, although that process tends to be more complex and is generally ineligible for premium processing when applied for in this way.

Visa applicants require both a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) and letter from the company providing employment. This letter should include details on its duties and responsibilities as well as proof that its USCIS I-129 petition was approved.

At your interview, a representative from the US Embassy will assess your character, job in the US and past work/education experience as well as nonimmigrant intent (i.e. returning home at end of stay in USA).

Once the consulate approves your visa application, they will inform you and send back your passport with a visa stamp attached. Carefully review this stamp to make sure all dates, names and employer addresses are correct; if anything appears irregular please notify them as soon as possible.

There is an annual limit of 10,500 E-3 visas; spouses and children of principal applicants do not count toward this quota. Anyone holding such an E-3 visa is permitted to remain in the U.S. until receiving an extension or otherwise becoming eligible to leave. Spouses of E-3 visa holders can also obtain work permits by filing Form I-765, Employment Authorization Document. This process must be handled separately from extending or renewing their E-3 visa. Upon receiving their Green Cards, E-3 visa holders can petition their spouses for permanent residency in the U.S. by filing Form I-140: Petition for Alien Relative. As this process can be lengthy and complex, legal advice can help with understanding all applicable rules and preparing all the necessary paperwork.