The E-3 classification applies only to nationals of Australia. Nationals are individuals who were born in Australia rather than naturalized Australian Citizens. Under this classification an individual must be coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation. The specialty occupation requires 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.
To qualify for an E-3 visa, you must demonstrate that you:
- Are a national of Australia
- Have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States
- Possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials
- Will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation
Applying for an E-3 Visa from Within the United States:
A Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker must be filed with U.S.C.I.S. together with a Labor Condition Application (LCA) to obtain E-3 nonimmigrant temporary worker classification and change status.
Academic or other credentials demonstrating qualifications for the position
- Job offer letter or other documentation from the employer establishing that you will be engaged in a specialty occupation and that you will be paid the higher of the actual or prevailing wage
- If required, before you may commence employment in the specialty occupation, you must have the necessary license or other official permission to practice in the specialty occupation
Applying for a Visa With a U.S. Embassy or Consulate
A Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker must be filed with U.S.C.I.S. together with a Labor Condition Application (LCA). Once the Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker is approved by U.S.C.I.S., the Australian National will apply for a U.S. visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, generally in your country of residence abroad (note: it does not need to be in Australia if you are a resident of another country).
Period of Stay/Extension of Stay
The E-3 Visa is granted for 2 years and it can be extended prior to its expiration. There is no maximum number of extentions, with some exceptions, and the extensions are up to 2 years each.
Change of Employment
The new employer must file a new Labor Condition Application and a new Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. The period between the two jobs must be 10 days or less.
Family of E-3 Visa Holders
E-3 holders’ spouse and unmarried children, under 21 years of age, are entitled to the same E-3 classification. Only the spouse is entitled to apply for work authorization.