The US Congress brought good news to many Australians when it announced in early May 2005 that it would designate 10,500 newly created E-3 visas just for Australians.
This removes Australians from the H-1B quota and offers them a visa that is similar, but more flexible. It has some of the elements of an E treaty visa and should be very useful to Australian nationals seeking work in the US.
Contact Immigration Solutions Group, PLLC for an appointment by calling (202) 234-0899, or simply click here to email .
To qualify for an E-3 visa, an applicant must demonstrate:
- that he or she must have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States
- that the position he or she is coming to fill qualifies as specialty occupation employment
- that he or she is an Australian citizen
- that he or she has the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials
- that his or her stay will be temporary
- if required before the alien may commence employment in the specialty occupation, that he or she has the necessary license or other official permission to practice in the specialty occupation.
An approved Labor Condition Application is required and no more than 10,500 E-3 visas can be issued per year.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is an E-3 Visa?
A: The E-3 is a new visa category only for Australians going to the U.S. to work temporarily in a specialty occupation.
Q: Why are only Australians eligible for this visa?
A: The legislation limited the E-3 to nationals of Australia.
Q: Who qualifies for the E-3 visa?
A: The new E-3 visa classification currently applies only to nationals of Australia as well as their spouses and children. E-3 principal applicants must be going to the United States solely to work in a specialty occupation. The spouse and children need not be Australian citizens.
Q: Are there other requirements for qualifying for an E-3 visa?
A: There are various requirements for qualifying for an E-3 visa including: evidence of qualifying credentials, documentation of a qualifying job offer, engaging in qualifying work in a “specialty occupation,” payment at the “prevailing wage,” evidence of qualifying stay, of admission, and qualifying responsabilities under a “specialty occupation.” Please email or call, ISG at (202) 498-2745 for a consultation to evaluate your specific case and a determination of those eligibility requirements.
Q: What is a specialty occupation?
A: The definition of “specialty occupation” is one that requires:
- A theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge, and
- The attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.
In determining whether an occupation qualifies as a “specialty occupation”, follow 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 U.S.C.I.S.
Q: Do I need a license for a specialty occupation?
A: An E-3 alien must meet academic and occupational requirements, including licensure where appropriate, for admission into the United States in a specialty occupation. If the job requires licensure or other official permission to perform the specialty occupation, the applicant must submit proof of the requisite license or permission before the E-3 visa may be granted. In certain cases, where such a license or other official permission is not immediately required to perform the duties described in the visa application, the alien must show that he or she will obtain such licensure within a reasonable period of time following admission to the United States.
Q: Do I need a petition by my employer to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)?
A: The United States-based employer of an E-3 principal is not required to submit a petition to the Department of Homeland Security as a prerequisite for visa issuance. However, the employer must obtain a Labor Condition Application (LCA), ETA Form 9035 or ETA Form 9035E, from the Department of Labor.
Q: How long is the visa valid?
A: The validity of the visa should not exceed the validity period of the LCA. The Department of State and DHS have agreed to a 24-month maximum validity period for E-3 visas. This validity may be renewed.
Q: What is the fee for an E-3 visa?
A: Other than the normal visa application fee, there is no issuance fee.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of E-3 visas?
A: Yes, there will be a maximum of 10,500 E-3 visas issued annually. Spouses and children of principal applicants do not count against the numerical limitations.
Q: Do applicants need to demonstrate a “residence abroad?”
A: E-3 status provides for entry on a non-permanent basis into the United States. Similar to E-1 and E-2 visa applicants, the E-3 must satisfy the consular officer that s/he intends to depart upon termination of status.
Q: How do I demonstrate that I qualify for an E-3D (dependent) visa?
A: You must demonstrate to the consular officer that the established relationship exists. Usually this can be accomplished with a marriage or birth certificate. You must also show the principal applicant is the recipient of an E-3 visa.
Q: May spouses work?
A: E-3 spouses are entitled to work in the United States and may apply for an Employment Authorization Document (Form I-765) through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (U.S.CIS). The spouse of a qualified E nonimmigrant may, upon admission to the United States, apply with the Department of Homeland Security for an employment authorization document, which an employer could use to verify the spouse’s employment eligibility. Such spousal employment may be in a position other than a specialty occupation.
Q: How long is the E-3 visa valid?
A: The validity of the visa should not exceed the validity period of the LCA. The Department and DHS have agreed to a 24-month maximum validity period for E-3 visas.
Q: Can I renew the E-3 visa? Is there a limit to the amount of times I can renew?
A: E-3 applicants are admitted for a two-year period renewable indefinitely, provided the alien is able to demonstrate that he/she does not intend to remain or work permanently in the United States.
Q: When will Embassies and Consulates begin issuing E-3 visas?
A: Embassies and Consulates are already issuing the E-3 visa.