I have particular expertise in preparing E-3 visas for Australian nationals. I have written and lectured on the E-3 visa, and have prepared numerous applications. I am the author of “The E-3 Visa’s Five Year Anniversary,” (Bloomberg Law Reports, Immigration, Vol. 3, No. 5 (2010) and have given presentations on the E-3 visa in New York, California and London.
The E-3 Visa at a Glance
- The E-3 visa provides a unique vehicle for US companies to recruit top talent from Australia;
- The application can be lodged directly at a US Consulate;
- Duration of status: two years, but renewable indefinitely;
- Cap on E-3 Visas: 10,500 visas available each year, but cap is never reached.
- Processing time:
- Allow preparation time of two weeks;
- Allow time to schedule an appointment at a US Consulate abroad based on appointment availability (generally available on short notice in Australia);
- Wait 3-5 business days for Consulate to return your passport.
- Primary requirements:
- Australian nationality: must present an Australian passport;
- Job offer in a Specialty Occupation: must present a job offer letter;
- Possession of a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent: must present tertiary qualifications and a credentials evaluation;
- Job offer meets prevailing wage requirements: must present a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA);
- Completion of Form DS-160 and payment of the visa application fee.
- Why should I engage Sharon Press to handle my E-3 visa application?
- Expertise with the E-3 visa;
- Very cost-effective solutions;
- Quick turn-around time (two weeks);
- Extensive familiarity with job classifications and prevailing wage issues;
- Extensive familiarity with education equivalency requirements;
- Immediate answers to specific questions.
- How do I engage Sharon Press to handle an E-3 visa application?
- Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- A consultation will be scheduled as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions:
The E-3 visa allows Australian nationals to work for US employers in a specialty occupation, which is a position that requires a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a specialized field. The spouse and children of an E-3 visa holder need not be Australian citizens. The E-3 visa provides an excellent vehicle for US companies to recruit top talent from Australia.
Each fiscal year, Congress has designated an annual 10,500 E-3 visas solely for Australians—a number not likely to be exhausted for many years to come.
If you are an Australian national who holds a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, and you have a job offer from a US employer in a specialty occupation, you may be eligible for an E-3 visa.
The definition of “specialty occupation” is one that requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge; and the attainment of a Bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the US.
In determining whether an occupation qualifies as a “specialty occupation,” the embassy follows the definition contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 214 (i)(1) for H-1B nonimmigrants and applicable standards and criteria determined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
For the purposes of the E-3 visa, a degree from an Australian university is equivalent to a US Bachelor’s degree. You will need an equivalency evaluation from a reliable credentials evaluation service.
You may have the equivalent of a US Bachelor’s degree through a combination of work experience and coursework. US Code of Federal Regulations, 8 CFR 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(D), describes the kind and amount of experience which can be used to establish the equivalency of a university degree. As a guide, three years of professional experience may generally be used as a substitute for each year of university-level education and diplomas may offer credit hours that can be applied toward the equivalency.
The job will qualify provided that it requires a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in a specialty occupation. It is not enough that an E-3 applicant holds a particular degree; the job itself must also require a bachelor-level or higher qualification. In addition, there must be a fit between the degree and the job duties.
In order to sponsor an Australian national for an E-3 visa, a US company must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the US Department of Labor (DOL) attesting that it will pay the Australian national at least the prevailing wage for the position as well as wages and benefits on par with US workers with similar qualifications. The sponsoring employer must also comply with document retention and public inspection requirements established by the DOL. US companies are well-advised to retain immigration counsel when sponsoring E-3 workers, especially in view of the increase in DOL audits and USCIS site visits nationally. The LCA provisions are designed to protect US labor, enabling US companies to enjoy the benefits of cross-border mobility without threatening the wages and working conditions of US workers.
An E-3 applicant must meet academic and occupational requirements, including licensure if the position requires a license. In certain cases where a US license or other official permission is required to perform the duties described in the visa application, but such permission or license is not available prior to entry into the US, the applicant must show that he or she will obtain such licensure within a reasonable period of time following admission to the US.
E-3 visas are valid for 2 years and renewable indefinitely.
Yes. They would apply for E-3 dependent visas.
The spouses of E-3 visa holders are eligible to apply for work authorization (an Employment Authorization Document/EAD card), regardless of their nationality, which enables them to work for any US employer. Your spouse may file the EAD application once s/he enters the US in E-3 dependent status. It generally takes 3 months for the application to be approved.
You can apply for the visa directly at a US Consulate or Embassy, where you must present a job offer letter, certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) and evidence of tertiary qualifications and/or licenses, along with the requisite visa application forms, supporting documentation and visa application fees. A consular officer will determine whether the educational and employment information provided meets the eligibility requirements for an E-3 visa.
You and/or your employer may schedule a consultation to discuss your situation. The consultation fee would be applied toward preparation of the E-3 visa application.