Basics of The E-3 Speciality Occupation Visa for Australians

Are you an Australian national with a bachelor’s degree seeking U.S. employment? If so, you may qualify for the E3 Visa–a low cost, no lottery option for a U.S. employment visa! Read more  to learn if you qualify for the E-3  Speciality Occupation Employment Visa!

Overview of E-3 Visa

The E3 Visa is an efficient and straightforward visa option for Australian nationals to pursue employment in the United States. With this visa, Australian nationals can stay in the U.S. for two years under certain circumstances. 

To qualify, you must meet the following three criteria: 

  1. Australian Nationality;
  2. A bachelor’s degree related to a specialty occupation; and
  3. A legitimate job offer in a speciality occupation from a U.S. employer that explicitly requires a bachelor’s degree related to the speciality occupation.

If you can successfully prove these criteria, you may be eligible to acquire a 2 year period of stay–with unlimited extensions–in the United States through the E-3 Visa!


Petition Process and Evidentiary Requirements for E-3 Visa


E-3 Visas cannot be self petitioned; instead, your U.S. employer must petition for you by completing the required paperwork, including the Labor Condition Application (LCA) to determine the prevailing wage, which states what the employer must pay you. Once the prevailing wage is obtained, you can work with an immigration attorney to complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Application with the consulate and prepare for the E-3 Visa Interview. 

In addition to the petition forms, the applicant must be prepared to submit the following documents:

  • Proof of Nationality and Identification Documents 
  • Proof of a Bachelor’s Degree related to a Speciality Occupation
  • Copies of Original Job Listing and Job Offer Letter 
  • Proof of Employee’s/Applicant’s Qualifications
  • Evidence that you do not intend to stay in the United States
  • A $205 Fee to Your U.S. Embassy or Consulate

After completing the petition forms and submitting the required documents, applicants can expect to hear a decision within a few weeks depending on the consulate’s processing times.

Visas for family members

If you are an E-3 beneficiary, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may also receive E-3 dependent visas. Both your spouse and children will be granted the same 2 year period of stay as you. Your spouse will automatically receive working rights with the E-3 dependent visa. However, your children will not, and therefore cannot be employed. 

Benefits of E-3 Visa

The E-3 visa program provides various benefits such as the following: 

  • Unlike some U.S. work visas, the E-3 visa program operates without an annual lottery system, unlike the H1-B Visa.
  • It provides a consistent and accessible option for employers throughout the year. 
  • With a substantial annual quota of 10,500 visas, typically reaching only 50% utilization, eligible applicants have a high likelihood of approval. 
  • The processing time of 4-6 weeks or as quick as 15 days with premium processing further streamlines the application process. 
  • Spouse also gets work authorization automatically which not all temporary visas will allow, including the H-1B Visa.
  • Additionally, the E-3 Visa allows for unlimited 2 year renewals, offering long-term stability for qualified individuals. 
  • The E-3 Visa is also associated with relatively low costs, making it an attractive and practical choice for both employers and prospective employees.


Why Hire an Immigration Attorney? 

The E-3 Visa process can be a very complicated process to navigate through on your own. An immigration attorney can help both you and your employer navigate through the entire process and make sure that your application is completed completely, on time, and without errors. 

If you would like to learn more about applying for an E-3 Visa, contact us for an assessment or consultation.


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