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E-3 Visas: Hiring Specialty Occupation Workers from Australia

The E-3 visa is a special nonimmigrant classification reserved for Australian citizens who wish to work in specialty occupations in the United States. This visa category requires the applicant to have a job offer in the U.S. in an occupation that typically requires a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific field of study. The E-3 visa is similar to the H-1B visa but is exclusively for Australians, offering a renewable two-year period of stay. Applicants must demonstrate that they possess the necessary academic credentials or equivalent professional experience. In addition to the benefit of targeted eligibility, the E-3 visa also allows for spouses of E-3 visa holders to apply for work authorization in the U.S., providing a streamlined and advantageous option for Australian professionals seeking to advance their careers in the United States.

Common Questions And Answers About E-3 Visas

  • How often can the E-3 visa be renewed?

The E-3 visa can be renewed indefinitely in two-year increments, as long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements and the employment situation remains the same.

  • Can my family accompany me to the U.S. on an E-3 visa?

Yes, your spouse and dependent children under 21 years of age can accompany you under the E-3D visa classification. They do not need to be Australian citizens.

  • Is there a limit to the number of E-3 visas issued each year?

Yes, there is an annual cap of 10,500 E-3 visas available, excluding spouses and children of E-3 visa holders.

  • Can my spouse work in the U.S. on an E-3D visa?

Yes, spouses of E-3 visa holders can apply for work authorization in the U.S., offering flexibility for your family’s needs.

  • What type of job qualifies for an E-3 visa? J

Jobs that qualify are considered “specialty occupations,” which require theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, typically evidenced by a bachelor’s degree or higher.

  • Do I need a labor condition application (LCA) for an E-3 visa?

Yes, your U.S. employer must file an LCA with the Department of Labor, confirming the terms and conditions of your employment, similar to the H-1B visa process.

  • How do I apply for an E-3 visa?

Australian citizens outside the U.S. should apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Those already in the U.S. on a different visa may apply to change their status to E-3.

  • Can I change employers while on an E-3 visa?

Yes, you can change employers, but your new employer must file a new LCA, and you must apply for a new E-3 visa based on this employment.

  • What happens if my employment ends while I am on an E-3 visa?

You may be allowed a grace period to change your status to another nonimmigrant status or to find another employer to sponsor your E-3 visa. It’s important to address this situation promptly to maintain lawful status.

Get the Immigration Support You Need at Fok Immigration Law

The journey to securing the right visa can be daunting. If you’re in pursuit of a temporary work visa, contact Fok Immigration Law at 408-606-8911, or visit us online for a consultation with our knowledgeable legal team. Located in San Jose, our firm advocates for clients throughout California and across the United States.