The E-3 visa is a particular type of US visa that allows Australian professionals to enter the United States to take a professional position relevant to their specialty.
This “Australian Specialty Occupation Professional” visa is exclusively available to professionals, which means that the applicant must have a university degree and the job they are carrying out must require degree-level skills and knowledge.
The applicant must be a resident of Australia, have a genuine offer of work in the U.S. for a position that qualifies as a “specialty occupation”, and must be able to show they have the relevant qualifications and experience.
E-3 visas enable the holder to stay in the USA for two years, with no limit to the number of additional two-year extensions (in most cases).
The holder’s spouse and dependent children (who must be unmarried and under the age of 21) may also accompany them with an E3-D dependent’s visa. The spouse is able to apply for the Employment Authorization Document (EAD), enabling them also to work in the United States.
E-3 Visa Requirements
Two particularly important elements must be considered in making an E-3 visa application.
- An LCA or Labor Condition Application must be carried out. The LCA helps the US Department of Labor to determine if the job meets the applicable standards. (This is usually returned within a week to ten days.)
- The job must pay the prevailing wage for the county or state in which the job will be based.
Applying for an E-3 Visa
If the application is being made from Australia, it should be sent to the U.S. Consulate. If the applicant is already in the United States on another visa, then they may apply direct to USCIS.
Note that a maximum number of 10,500 E-3 visas are currently issued per year. (The cap does not apply to E3-D dependents.)
We strongly recommend you engage a professional immigration attorney to help with the E-3 application process. Get in touch to arrange your visa strategy session.
Most Common E-3 Forms and Their Associated Cost
- Labor Condition Application (LCA): This form is filed by the U.S. employer who is sponsoring the E-3 visa applicant. It shows that the employer is offering a wage that is at least the prevailing wage for the position in the area where the job is located.
- Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker ($460): This form is required for all E-3 visa applicants. It is filed by the U.S. employer who is sponsoring the E-3 visa applicant.
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization ($180): This form is required for all E-3 visa applicants who wish to work in the United States.
- Form I-134, Affidavit of Support ($160): This form is required for most E-3 visa applicants who do not have sufficient financial resources to support themselves during their stay in the United States.
MOST FREQUENTLY USED E-3 VISAS FORMS