E-3 Visas - Australian Professionals
The E-3 nonimmigrant visa classification permits an Australian national to perform services in a specialty occupation for a U.S. employer. A specialty occupation requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of knowledge in professional fields, and at least the attainment of a bachelor's degree, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.
In many ways, the E-3 category bears much similarity to the H-1B visa classification, although it is available only to persons who are citizens of Australia.
To qualify for an E-3 visa, the petitioning U.S. employer must demonstrate that the E-3 visa beneficiary:
- The E-3 visa beneficiary is a national of Australia;
- There is a legitimate offer of employment in the United States;
- The E-3 visa beneficiary holds the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials, and;
- The offered position qualifies as a specialty occupation.
Applying for E-3 Visa Status
To obtain the initial E-3 classification for a worker outside of the United States, the prospective visa beneficiary may apply for an E-3 visa at any U.S. embassy or consulate that processes nonimmigrant petition-based visas. If the visa beneficiary is already in the United States, the employer can file an E-3 visa petition with USCIS. For either process, the following is required:
- Form ETA-9035, Labor Condition Application for E-3 Australia which was filed by the prospective employer and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Proof of Australian citizenship;
- Letter from the prospective employer describing the job duties, academic requirements, salary and anticipated length of stay (up to two years initially);
- Evidence of academic or other qualifying credentials.
Period of Stay/Extension of Stay
E-3 visa status can be granted for an initial period of two years. Thereafter, extensions can be granted on two year increments. There is no limit to the number of extensions.
Change of Employment
A new employer must file a new Labor Condition Application and a new E-3 visa petition. Any gap between the jobs must be 10 days or less.
Family of E-3 Visa Holders
The spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age of the E-3 visa holder are entitled to the same E-3 classification. The spouse is entitled to work authorization, but children are not. To apply for work authorization as a spouse of an E-3 nonimmigrant, a spouse must apply for Employment Authorization from USCIS.
For more information about Goel & Anderson's E-3 visa services, please contact us to schedule an in-person or telephonic consultation.