Who is Eligible For E3 Visa?

The E3 visa is a nonimmigrant work visa designed specifically to address occupations requiring specialized knowledge in the US, with individuals possessing such credentials and having received an offer of employment from a US-based employer.

This visa resembles the H-1B work visa in many ways, yet differs significantly in others. For instance, unlike H-1B it does not require US-based employers to file a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor and does not place any time limit on how long a person can remain in the United States as a result of this visa. Furthermore, an E3 visa also permits the holder’s dependent spouse and children to legally work within its borders without needing separate work visas themselves.

As opposed to H-1B visas, E3 visas don’t impose annual quotas on new applicants and can usually be approved with minimal difficulty each year. Furthermore, unlike its H-1B counterparts, they don’t require filing fees in order to extend or change one’s status or file for changes of status applications.

Individuals may apply for an E-3 visa either inside of the United States or at one of its Consulates abroad. Consulate applications offer more advantages for individuals currently living outside the US who plan to work in specialty occupations within its borders, as they tend to be quicker and require fewer forms than changing status or extending within it, due to delays caused by USCIS processing workload.

An E-3 visa applied for abroad does not qualify for premium processing provided by USCIS for applicants looking to change or extend their current E-3 status via Form I-129 petitions.

One common misstep individuals make when applying for an E-3 visa is failing to clearly communicate their intent. Since this visa does not tolerate immigrant intent, individuals should make it clear they do not seek to acquire green card status from within the US and thus protect themselves from potential charges that they had immigrant intent when applying at consulate or seeking entry in E-3 status.

Consult a knowledgeable immigration attorney when filing for an E-3 visa to ensure all the necessary documents are collected and filed correctly. At Galstyan Law, our attorneys have extensive experience helping individuals apply for E-3 visas and would be more than happy to discuss your individual circumstances and answer any queries related to the process. Feel free to reach out as we serve clients nationwide from our Chicago location – we look forward to speaking with you soon.