The E-3 visa is a relatively new visa and was established in 2005. It is a temporary nonimmigrant work visa for citizens of Australia who seek to work in the U.S. in a “specialty occupation”. Any applicant applying for an E-3 visa must have a minimum of bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) in the field related to the position.

Note: The E-3 Visa requires sponsorship by a U.S. employer for the "specialty occupation". E-3 visas are subject to a “cap” of 10,500 visas in a fiscal year. Dependant visas and E-3 visa applications for extension of stay in the U.S. are not subject to this cap.

Australian citizens may frequently opt for the E-3 visa instead of the H-1B visa as the process is faster and requires only consular processing for visa issuance. In fact, once the employer receives Labor Certification approval (LCA), the applicant may apply for an E-3 visa with the U.S. consulate office or embassy in Australia with all the required documents. In contrast, with the H-1B visa, the petition must first be approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and thereafter, the beneficiary may apply for a visa at the U.S. consulate office in his/her home country.

Spouses and unmarried children under age 21 are allowed to join or accompany the E-3 visa holder on E-3D visa (dependant visa). Spouses may apply for work authorization and are not required to be Australian citizens.

E-3 Quick Facts

  • E-3 can be issued only to Australian Citizens with a bachelor’s or higher degree in a “specialty occupation”.
  • E-3 applicants must have a legitimate job offer from a U.S. employer for a position requiring the minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
  • At the time of filing, the U.S. sponsoring employer must attest that it is able and willing to pay the prevailing wages and that it will provide the same working conditions as those provided for a U.S. worker.
  • Initial E-3 visas may only be petitioned from outside the U.S (at a U.S. consulate or embassy). However, E-3 visa extensions or E-3 visa transfers may be applied from within the U.S.
  • Although the period of stay in the U.S. is limited to 2 years, E-3 visa holders may apply for extensions which may granted indefinitely in 2 year increments.
  • E-3 visa applicants are not eligible to apply for permanent residence.
  • E-3 visa holder may change his/her employer. The prospective employer must apply for a new E-3 petition for a change of employer.

E-3 Visa Process

  1. Our firm, on behalf of the U.S. employer, prepares the requisite documentation required for an E-3 petition.
  2. We submit the petition and all supporting document file to the employer who may then provide the same to its prospective employee. The applicant may then apply for the E-3 visa at the consulate in his/her country.