The E-3 visa is a non immigrant visa reserved solely for Australian citizens. The E-3 visa is the counterpart of the H1-B specialty occupation. A specialty occupation requires at least a bachelor’s degree in a particular field of study which is related to the job’s duties and requires practical and theoretical application of highly specialized knowledge.
Eligible fields of endeavor include, but are not limited to, most computer science jobs, accounting, architecture, engineering, education, law, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, business specialties, theology, and other positions that require a degree or a combination of education and experience equivalent to a degree in a field related to the job’s duties. The prospective E-3 visa worker must have either a baccalaureate degree or a combination of education and experience equivalent to a degree in a field related to the job offered. Three years of progressive experience in an occupational specialty may be deemed equivalent to one year of university studies. There are 10,500 E-3 visas each fiscal year.
Australians citizens who are in the United States employed under a different visa (i.e. H-1B, L-1A, L-1B, etc.) may elect to change to the E-3 visa. In some cases, where the Australian citizen is at the end of their total visa time, it may be to his or her benefit to change to the E-3 visa category, which is unlimited in duration.
How to Apply
Australian citizens must apply at the American Embassy or Consulate with information and documentation from the prospective employer describing the specialty occupation being offered along with evidence that the foreign national meets the minimum qualifications for the position. The prospective employer must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the U.S. Department of Labor, demonstrating that the prevailing wage will be paid to the E-3 worker. The approved LCA with the completed packet for the E-3 visa is submitted to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy.
Please contact our office for assistance in preparing the application for submission to the American Embassy or Consulate.
The E-3 visa is renewable in two year increments indefinitely.
Dependents of E-3 visa holders hold E-3D visas. Spouses of E-3 visa holders may obtain work authorization in the United States by applying for an Employment Authorization Document (Form I-765). Dependents of E-3 visa holders need not be Australian citizens.