E-3 Visa For Australian Citizens
The E-3 is a US working visa for Australian citizens to work in specialty occupations in the US. It has many advantages over the other types of US working visas, including the ability for spouses of E-3 recipients to work in the US. Another advantage is the relatively shorter processing time to obtain this US working visa. In fact, a Petition for Non-immigrant Worker, which is explained in more details in US Work Visas page, USCIS, is not required to obtain the E-3 visa at the US Embassy or US Consulate. However, the US employer must obtain a Labor Condition Application (LCA), ETA Form 9035 or ETA Form 9035E, from the Department of Labor before the Australian applicant can attend the interview at the US Embassy.
The E-3 visa classification was created to permit Australian applicants with a US job offer to go to the United States to work in a specialty occupation.
The validity of the visa should not exceed the validity period of the LCA. LCA has a validity period of 24-month for E-3 visas. Therefore also the E-3 visa cannot be issued for more than 2 years. Thereafter, extensions, in indefinite numbers, are usually given in two-year increments, but there is always need of a new LCA.
If you are considering whether the E-3 visa is the appropriate visa for you or for another employee of the Company, please contact us, email our US Lawyer, or take the time to complete the E3 Visa Assessment Form. You may also complete the General Assessment Form if you are not sure which visa would be suitable for you.
Only prospective employees who will work in a specialty occupation will qualify for E-3 visa. "Specialty Occupation” is one that requires:
- A theoretical and practical application of specialized knowledge; and
- A bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific field as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the US.
The official fonts to determine if an occupation qualifies as a “specialty occupation” is the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 214 (i)(1) and applicable criteria determined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and USCIS.
The fact of having a bachelor degree and a job in a related profession in the US does not automatically grant qualification for the E-3 visa. It is in fact necessary that the applicant has found a job that actually requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a specialty occupation. It is not enough that an E-3 visa applicant holds a particular degree. The job itself must require a bachelor or higher qualification.
If the job requires not only a bachelor degree but also a license or other official permission to perform the specialty occupation, the applicant must submit evidence of the requisite license or permission before the E-3 visa can be issued. In some instances, where the license is not immediately required to perform the duties described in the visa application, the alien must show that he or she will obtain such license within a reasonable period of time following admission to the US.
The US Embassy or US Consulate will adjudicate the eligibility for E-3 visa classification and only the ones meeting certain requirements will be considered to be granted the US visa. The duty of the US attorney is verifying that all the required elements for E-3 visa are present and proving to the US Embassy or Consulate designated for the interview that the E-3 applicant qualify for this specific US work visa. The minimum necessary prerequisites in evaluating entitlement to E-3 visa are the following:
- The Electronic Visa Application Form
- An approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) that the U.S. attorney on behalf of the employer obtains from the Department of Labor
- Evidence of academic or other qualifying credentials as required under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 214(i)(1)
- a job offer letter or other documentation from the employer establishing that upon entry into the United States the applicant will be engaged in qualifying work in a specialty occupation and that the alien will be paid the actual or prevailing wage referred to in INA 212(t)(1)
- In the absence of an academic or other qualifying credential(s), evidence of education and experience that is equivalent to the required U.S. degree
- Evidence establishing that the applicant’s stay in the United States will be temporary.
- A certified copy of any required license
- Evidence of payment of the application fee
The US Embassy or Consulate has the authority and the duty to determine whether these requirements for E-3 visa, which are examined during the interview, have been met, basing the decision on the supporting documents which the US attorney will help to prepare.
If you are considering whether the E-3 visa is the appropriate US visa for you or for another employee of the Company, please contact us, email our US Attorney, or take the time to complete the E3 Visa Assessment Form. You may also complete the General Assessment Form if you are not sure which visa would be suitable for you.