E-3 Visa is a US work Visa designed for Australian Nationals. Each year, USCIS approves around 10,500 petitions for E-3 Visa. However, only highly skilled Australians are eligible for the E-3 Visa. This article explains what the E-Visa is, the requirements, the application process, and other details you should know.
In 2005, the E-3 Visa was created as part of the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA). This visa applies only to Australian nationals who wish to perform services in “specialty occupations” in the US. For this reason, this visa is similar to the H-1B Visa.
A Specialty occupation refers to any occupation that demands specialized knowledge or skill. It usually requires a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent training in the specialty job.
What is the E-3 Visa specialty Occupation List?
The following Occupations qualify as a specialty occupation under the E-3 Visa category
- Information Technology
- Political science
- Architecture, etc.
E-3 Visa Requirements
To be eligible for this visa, you must meet 2 of the following requirements:
- You must be an Australian National. Australian permanent residents are ineligible for the E3 Visa.
- You must have a job offer in the US.
- Such job offer must be in a specialty occupation
- You must have relevant licenses to practice the specialty occupation
- You must have an educational qualification in the specialty occupation or a professional training or experience that is equivalent to a degree in the Specialty Occupation
If you don’t meet any of these requirements, you should check out our previous post on US work Visas, to find out which one you qualify for.
How To Apply for E-3 Visa
The E3 Visa Application process starts with a US employer. A prospective US employer must get an approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) before hiring the Australian Nationals. LCA is issued by the US Department of Labor. This certification makes the US employer eligible to employ a foreign national. LCA indicates that the foreign employee is entitled to some privileges from the US employer.
The US employer must file ETA Form 9035 to the Department of Labor. The LCA is processed within 7 business days.
E-3 Visa Application Process for Australian Nationals
The Australian National has to wait until USCIS approves the petition filed by the employer. If the petition is approved, he or she can apply for E3 Visa following these steps:
Complete Form DS-160
You’re required to fill Form DS-160 with your personal information. After completing the form, print out the Form DS-160 confirmation page.
Pay the E-3 visa fee
The E-3 Visa fee is $205. You’re required to make this payment and keep your receipt intact ahead of your Visa Interview.
Schedule your interview
If you’re above 13 years and below 80 years, you are required to schedule an interview with a US Consulate. Applicants below 13 years or above 79 years are not required to schedule an interview.
File your documents
If you’re wondering what documents are required for the E3 Visa, we made a list of the required documents. They include,
- Your valid passport.
- 1 photograph in accordance with the US Visa requirements
- Application Form DS-160 confirmation page.
- Visa fee receipt
- Your visa appointment letter
- Appointment letter from your US employer
- Approved LCA (ETA 9035)
- Your Qualifications, certificate or licenses
- Referral letters from your former employer(s)
- Proof to show you intend to return to your home country at the expiration of your Visa.
Ensure you file these documents before your E3 Visa interview.
Go for your interview
Finally, you are expected to attend an interview with a US Embassy Official. You will be asked questions about your previous work experience and qualifications. The Interviewer will review your documents and decide if your application requires additional processing.
How Long Does it Take To Process E-3 Visa
Generally, it could take up to 2 months to process an E3 visa. Once your visa application is approved, you will be contacted by the US Embassy to submit your passport for stamping.
If you don’t get feedback after 3 months, immigly.com advises you to contact the US Embassy.
Validity of E-3 Visa
The validity of an E-3 Visa is stated on the approved LCA. The E3 visa is usually valid for 2 years.
E-3 Visa Renewal
E-3 renewal is done by the US employer. To renew an E-3 visa, your employer is required to file Form I-129 and request for an LCA with a new expiration date
Can I Bring Family on E-3 Visa?
Yes, you can bring your spouse and children (under 21 years old) to the US, If they apply and are issued E3D Visas. Dependents of E-3 Visa holders are permitted to study in the US. However, if the spouse of E-3 Visa holders decide to work in the US, they must apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
If you need professional help with applying for the E-3 Visa, Immigly.com is willing to guide you through the process.