IT Jobs


What is an E3 Visa?


The E3 Visa is a special category visa designed for Australian Citizens. Launched in 2005 by the US Congress through a paragraph added to the Immigration and Nationality Act, it authorizes up to 10,500 visas per year for exclusively Australian Citizens.

The E3 Visa is issued to those Australians who qualify to work in "specialty occupations". The spouse and children of the E3 Visa applicant need not be Australian citizens.

The visa is the culmination of the discussions on advancement of trade between the two nations.

What if I am NOT an Australian Citizen but a Permanent Resident (PR) of Australia and meet all the rest of the other requirements?


For PR's who are citizen of other country, we have other options like filing H1B visa instead of E3 Visa for you. For more details, please contact us at info@e3jobs.com.au

What are the educational qualifications required to be eligible for the E3 Visa application?


To be able to apply for the E3 Visa, you must have the right combination of educational qualifications and experience to be able to work in specialty. This requires that you have:

  • A degree equivalent to that of the US bachelor in the relevant field (related to job/ career path), or
  • US bachelor, or
  • Adequate combination of formal education and work experience
  • Necessary license/ permission of the relevant regulatory bodies to perform the specialty occupation before the application for E3 Visa is granted

What does it mean by "Specialty Occupation"?


"Specialty Occupation" is defined by the following criteria:

  • It requires a Bachelor's degree or higher educational qualification (or its equivalent foreign degree)
  • It requires specialized theory and practical application that is awarded by a specialized regulatory body

Is it necessary that I have previous work experience in the USA to be eligible for this visa?


No it is not necessary that you would have worked in the USA previous to the application for E3 Visa.

Is it necessary for me to have license for the "specialty occupation"?


If the occupation requires license or any type of official permission, you will need to have before you apply from the E3 Visa. The proof of the same should be submitted before the E3 Visa is granted.

In the cases where the license/ permission is not immediately required, but might be necessary in the future, the applicant needs to undertake that he/ she would be willing to obtain such license/ permission within an admissible time-period after he/ she is admitted into the USA.

For an accurate definition, you may look up the definition contained at INA 214 (i)(1) for H-1B non-immigrants and applicable standards and criteria determined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and USCIS.

What are the eligibility criteria of the E3 Visa?


You need to fulfill the following criteria:

  • You are an Australian citizen or national
  • The job you are taking up falls under the "specialty occupation" definition
  • You have a legitimate offer of employment from an US-based company
  • You have the required academic qualification (Bachelor's degree or above)
  • In the absence of the requisite academic qualification, proof that your present educational qualifications and work experience equal to the required US degree
  • You understand that the E3 Visa allows you temporary stay in the USA
  • You have obtained the necessary licensure/ official permission required for you to start working in the USA
  • If the licensure is not required immediately, proof should be submitted that you agree to apply for it when necessary after gaining admission in the USA
  • You are within the first 10,500 applicants for the E3 Visa
  • Evidence that you have paid the MRV (Machine Readable Visa)

Does the "premium processing" of USCIS cover the E3 Visa application as well?


The "premium processing" which has the applications processed within 15 days from the date of application along with all pertinent documents, is not available for the E3 Visa.

What are the documents I need to carry when I submit my application for E3 Visa?


You need to have the following documents ready with you for submission of application for the E3 Visa:

  • LCA issued by the US Department of Labor
  • Offer letter from the US-based employer, which proves that your job is falling under the "specialty occupation"
  • Documentary evidence of the educational qualification and work experience
  • Documentary evidence that you possess the license required or that you are willing to apply for the same as soon as your reach the USA
  • Documentary evidence that the salary offered is higher than the prevailing wages (this could be the offer letter itself)
  • Evidence that your plans to stay in the USA are temporary and you will return once the job is completed

Is it necessary that my US-based employer apply to the DHS (Department of Homeland Security)?


No, your US-based employer need not apply/ write/ petition the DHS. However, it is necessary that the employer obtained the LCA (Labor Condition Form) ETA form 9035 from the Labor Department.

What should my employer do to facilitate my E3 Visa?


The US-based employer should:

  • Provide an offer letter that states that you will be engaged to work in a specialty occupation and you will be paid according to the law of the land
  • Obtain a LCA from the US Department of Labor
  • The US-based employer need not apply to USCIS for the sponsoring of the visa

How long is the validity of the E3 Visa?


The initial visa is issued for 24 months. This is the maximum validity of this visa. Its validity remains concurrent to the validity of the LCA. It can be renewed indefinitely, as long as the LCA is valid.

Are there any limits on the number of renewals that one can apply for the E3 Visa?


As long as the LCA is valid, and you possess a valid passport you can renew this visa for as many times you desire. There is no maximum number of times limit for renewing the E3 Visa.

Does this mean that I can renew the E3 Visa indefinitely?


Yes, you can actually renew the E3 Visa indefinitely, provided you are employed in the USA under the above mentioned criteria.

Does the E3 Visa allow for dual intent category entry in the USA?


No, it does not. You must convince the USCIS that the employment you received through the offer letter from your US-based company is temporary and short-term. The officer at USCIS needs to be convinced that you do not entertain any thoughts of remaining in the USA permanently.

In fact you should be able to satisfy the interviewing official that you would return as soon as the job is completed.

Is it possible for me to change the E3 while I am living in the USA?


Yes, it is possible to change your visa status from E3 visa to any other non-immigrant status in the USA.

Is it possible to switch from E3 to H1B?


Yes, you can switch from E3 to H-1B Visa if you qualify for it and there are visas available. However, this is not necessary.

Is it possible to travel to the USA on Visa-waiver program and on reaching, apply for changing the status to E3?


While it is possible that you travel to the USA on the visa-waiver program issued specifically to attend the interview/ find a suitable job, you may not change the status of the Visa as long as you are on the Visa-Waiver program.

Can I change my employer while I hold an E3 Visa?


Yes, you can change your employer. However, since your E3 Visa is linked to ONE employer, the change of employer would need a new E3 visa. This can be applied for at the US Consulate overseas or directly inside the USA. Since you are already an E3 visa holder, the new visa is not counted as a new visa among the yearly quota of 10,500 visas.

I have an E3 Visa. What about my spouse and children?


Your spouse and children are also eligible for this visa as dependents. However, for this purpose you must bring in documents that prove your relationship with the dependents, such as marriage certificate and children's date of birth.

Can my spouse work in the USA on E3 Visa?


Spouses of E3 visa holders can work anywhere in the USA. Before accepting any employment your spouse may apply for an EAD (Employment Authorization Document, form I-765) from the USCIS.

Does my spouse also require to find employment only under "specialty occupation" definition?


No, it is not mandatory for the dependent to work exclusively in the specialty occupation.

Once I have obtained my E3 Visa, how soon can I enter the USA?


You can enter the USA maximum 10 days earlier to the joining date in your new US-based job. This time may be utilized to find accommodation of your choice and obtain the necessary utility services to make you (and your family) comfortable in the new environment.

How long I can stay in the USA on the E3 Visa, once my job is complete in the USA?


If the E3 Visa is not renewed because your job is over, you have to leave the USA within 10 days.

Can I travel to Australia or anywhere else outside USA while I have the E3 Visa?


The E3 Visa is a multiple entry visa. Hence, you can leave USA and re-enter as many times you desire provided the E3 visa is valid, i.e. you should be holding a job.

What are the benefits of the E3 Visa?


The E3 Visa is specially designed for Australian citizens; to make immigration easier, quicker and more convenient. The following are the top benefits:

  • No application to the USCIS is required
  • Application process simplified to the minimum, making it possible to obtain the visa within 7 days
  • You can change status between E3 visa and H1-B visas
  • Though issued for a maximum 2 years at a time, the E3 visa has no limit on the number of renewals it can avail. Hence, the E3 visa can have you live in the USA indefinitely provided you have the job.
  • Extension of the E3 Visa is not counted against the annual quota
  • Spouses of E3 Visa holders can travel and work in the USA. Only an employment authorization is required.

What are the major limitations of the E3 Visa?


The E3 Visa has the following limitations:

  • Only 10,500 E3 visa are awarded per annum. However, the dependents are not counted in this yearly quota
  • This visa does not support the "dual intent" doctrine. Hence, you cannot apply for permanent resident status while you are on an E3 Visa

How is the H-1B different from the E3 Visa?


The following are some major differences:

  • The dependents of the H-1B Visa enter the USA on H4 Visa, cannot work in the USA. The dependents of the E3 Visa can accept employment.
  • The E3 visa can be renewed indefinitely 2 years at a time, as long as the sponsor employer has you on the payroll. The H-1B visa can be extended maximum up to 6 years, unless the H-1B Visa holder applied for a Green Card. In such a case, the H-1B visa would be extended for as long as it takes to process the Green Card.
  • The E3 Visa holders are non-immigrants. Hence, they need to prove their intent to return to Australia once the job assignment is completed. With the H-1B visa however, you are permitted to apply for Green Card as this visa is covered under the "dual intent" doctrine.

Do you still have unanswered questions in your mind? Please contact us at info@e3jobs.com.au and we will be more than happy to answer your queries.