E3 Visa:

USA Process for Australian Nationals

E3 Visa USA

Our U.S. immigration law firm assists Australian Nationals obtain an E3 Visa to successfully work in the United States. Learn about the process, and request a free consultation with a qualified lawyer to discuss your case.

Applicant Requirements for the E3 Visa

First and foremost, you must have a job offer in your field. The E-3 visa classification applies only to nationals of Australia going to the United States solely to work in a specialty occupation. Second, your employer must meet certain criteria and file a labor condition application.

What are the employer criteria and Labor Condition Application?

The employer needs to be a company in the United States with operations in the United States that is offering you a job related to your education and experience.
As part of the E-3 Visa process, the first step includes a Labor Condition Application form that has to be filed with the US Department of Labor. This shows that that hiring a foreign national isn’t going to negatively influence the labor conditions of similarly employed workers; particularly in terms of wages, hours worked, etc.

Additionally, the Labor Condition Application has to be posted in two different locations.
· Sky Usa Law assists employers in efficiently completing this a mandatory step through careful evaluation of the company and the government criteria, and advising them of the requirements.
· We gather the tax information, company information and other corporate and mandatory information to efficiently file this on behalf of your employer.

Can I be self-employed on the E3 Visa?

Unfortunately, no. The E3 Visa is an employment based visa which requires an employer that is established in the United States. You can also work for only one U.S. company. For options to work for many employers, please see the O-1 Visa for Artists, Film and Science Professionals.

Is there a salary requirement?

Yes, to successfully obtain a Labor Condition Application, it must be shown that the position you are seeking is equal or greater than the prevailing wage of employees in the location you will be working.
· To do so, our firm looks at your qualifications, the seniority of your position, and the appropriate United States government sources to determine what the prevailing wage is appropriate for your employer to successfully file the application. We then advise you and your employer of this requirement to enable both you and your employer to make the appropriate decision on the salary and position being offered to you.

Specialty Occupation Requirement

What is a specialty occupation?

Generally defined, a specialty occupation is one which requires a theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge; and the attainment of the equivalent of a United States bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.
· A 3 year bachelor degree from Australia is no longer equivalent to a 4 year bachelor degree from The United States of America for E-3 visa purposes.
· A 3 year bachelor degree from Australia must be combined with 3 years full time work experience (in the same field as the degree) in order to be certified as equivalent to a 4 year a United States bachelor degree for E-3 visa purposes.
· Once we have a copy of your degree, transcripts, and work experience, our firm obtains the equivalency certificate on your behalf from recognized educational agencies. These are certificates that are accepted by United States Immigration Officials at the United States Consulates in Australia.

Work Experience and types of Jobs which qualify

What about work experience in lieu of a degree?

For those who do not have the equivalent of a United States bachelors degree, they will require a great deal of work experience to overcome this requirement. (12 years or greater if no degree at all). For those who have an associates degree, or have not fully completed their bachelors degree, a combination of work experience and the courses you have taken will be required to overcome this requirement.
For example, an associates degree and eight years of work experience.

E3 Visa Jobs


What kind of jobs Qualify?

There are no specific guidelines by the United States government on the type of jobs that qualify. The guidelines simply specify that you must have the education and/or experience in the job you are applying for. Therefore, there are several categories of workers that may qualify for the E3 visa, including:


Occupations In Architecture, Engineering, And Surveying

Architectural Occupations, Aeronautical Engineering Occupations, Electrical/Electronics Engineering Occupations, Civil Engineering Occupations, Ceramic Engineering Occupations, Mechanical Engineering Occupations, Chemical Engineering Occupations, Mining And Petroleum Engineering Occupations, Metallurgy And Metallurgical Engineering Occupations, Industrial Engineering Occupations, Agricultural Engineering Occupations, Marine Engineering Occupations, Nuclear Engineering Occupations, Drafters, Surveying/Cartographic Occupations, Other Occupations In Architecture, Engineering and Surveying.

Occupations In Mathematics And Physical Sciences

Occupations In Mathematics, Occupations In Astronomy,Occupations In Chemistry, Occupations In Physics, Occupations In Geology, Occupations In Meteorology, Other Occupations In Mathematics And Physical Sciences

Computer Science & IT, and Telecom Occupations

Occupations In Systems Analysis And Programming, Occupations In Data Communications And Networks, Occupations In Computer System User Support, Occupations In Computer System Technical Support,Other Computer-Related Occupations

Occupations In Life Sciences

Occupations In Agricultural Sciences, Occupations In Biological Sciences, Occupations In Psychology, Other Occupations In Life Sciences

Occupations In Medicine And Health

Physicians And Surgeons, Osteopaths, Dentists,Veterinarians, Pharmacists, Registered Nurses, Therapists, Dietitians, Occupations In Medical And Dental Technology, Other Occupations In Medicine And Health

Occupations In Education & Research

Occupations In College And University Education, Occupations In Secondary School Education, Occupations In Preschool, Primary School, And Kindergarten Education, Occupations In Education Of Persons With Disabilities,Home Economists And Farm Advisers, Occupations In Vocational Education,Other Occupations In Education

Occupations in Writing and Languages

Writers, Editors: Publication, Broadcast, And Script, Other Occupations In Writing

Occupations in Finance and Administrative Specializations

Accountants, Auditors, And Related Occupations, Budget And Management Systems Analysis Occupations, Purchasing Management Occupations, Sales And Distribution Management Occupations, Advertising Management Occupations, Public Relations Management Occupations, Personnel Administration Occupations, Inspectors And Investigators, Managerial And Public Service, Other Administrative Occupations

Occupations in Business Management & Administration

Agriculture, Forestry And Fishing Industry Managers And Officials, Mining Industry Managers And Officials, Construction Industry Managers And Officials, Manufacturing Industry Managers And Officials, Transportation, Communication, And Utilities Industry Managers And Officials, Wholesale And Retail Trade Managers And Officials, Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate Managers And OfficialsService Industry Managers And Officials, Public Administration Managers, And Officials, Miscellaneous Managers And Officials

OTHER Specialty Occupations as listed below

Occupations In Economics, Occupations In Political Science, Occupations In History, Occupations In Sociology, Occupations In Anthropology,Other Occupations In Social Sciences, Librarians, Archivists, Museum Curators And Related Occupations, Other Occupations In Museum, Library, And Archival Sciences, Lawyers, Judges, Other Occupations In Law And Jurisprudence, Clergy, Other Occupations In Religion And Theology

Arts, Fashion, Entertainment and Sales

Commercial Artists: Designers And Illustrators, Graphic Arts, Environmental, Product, And Related Designers, Other Occupations In Art, Occupations In Music,Other Occupations In Entertainment And Recreation, Occupations In Social And Welfare Work, Miscellaneous Professional, Technical, And Managerial Occupations, Sales Promotion Occupations, Fashion Models

What does an employment offer need to show?


In general terms, an employment offer must be a detailed explanation of the position you are being offered, including specific duties, location, and the skill set required, and it must show that you possess the specialized knowledge and/or skill set for the job.
· Our lawyers review your credentials, experience and your coursework to show that the position you are applying for is directly related to your skill set, and also that the position details the precise specialized knowledge you have attained in your industry. We research your employer thoroughly, and attain information necessary to draft a detailed and formal employment offer which you will take your consular interview with you.

Intent to Return

Do I need to show to prove my ties to Australia and Intent to Return?

Under the current E regulation in the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Code, 8 C.F.R.214.2(e)(5), an alien classified under section 101(a)(15)(E) as an E-3 non-immigrant shall maintain an intention to depart the United States upon the expiration of termination of E status.
· Our firm assists our clients with obtaining all the necessary documentation to satisfy this requirement, and we work with you in gathering evidence to show your ties to the Commonwealth of Australia.
Some of the evidence we may gather for your file includes:
· Close family ties in Australia (through letters we will send you guidelines and templates for obtaining)
· Property ownership proof for home, car, business, etc.
· Bank or financial statements with account history
· Australian tax returns
· We also provide guidelines for other evidence you should gather which help establish this requirement

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the process take?

Generally, we ask our clients to plan one month ahead to give themselves and their employer sufficient time to gather the documents. The process can be a lot quicker, however, this depends on a few factors, including obtaining all the documentation from you and your employer.
Once we have spoken to your employer and obtained the necessary corporate documents such as their tax and corporate information, information about the position, location, and job description, we file the Labor Condition Application on their behalf. This generally takes 7-10 days.
Simultaneously, we also obtain your educational qualifications and have them evaluated by an entity verified by the United States Customs and Immigration Service. This takes around 7-10 days.
Once we have obtained this, we prepare a formal and detailed offer of employment for you to take to your consular interview, along with preparing an entire file which contains the required evidence such as ties to Australia, educational requirements, Labor Condition Application, and an attorney’s letter showcasing how you meet the criteria for an E-3 Visa. This takes us 5 business days.
Generally, your file can be prepared in 3-4 weeks.
Upon this, you will go to a United States consulate in Australia for your interview or you may apply directly within the United States if you are already here.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of going to a consulate versus applying in the United States?

Generally, first time applicants (not those who are looking to extend their status), must first apply at a consulate in Australia.
The advantage is much quicker processing. Once you have the entire file which is prepared by us, you will schedule an appointment at one of three consulates in Australia.
The Consulate General of the United States in Sydney
The Consulate General of the United States in Melbourne
The Consulate General Of the United States in Perth
Upon scheduling your interview, you will take all required documentation to the Consular officer who is assigned to you, where they will read your file.
Generally, they will ask you questions about your past education and experience, and also the work you will be doing in the United States for your new employer.
Upon your interview, once approved, you will submit your passport and self addressed envelope to them, and they will mail it to you with your approval stamp within 2-3 days, unless otherwise indicated on their site.
This process is generally the quickest way to get approved.

E3 Visa Extension

If in the United States and applying for an extension, you have the option to return to Australia and go for another interview for a speedier extension, or to apply via mail to the United States Customs and Immigration Service. This can take 6-8 months, and so we strongly recommend to our clients to apply within Australia for a much quicker turnaround time of a few days.

E3 Visa Family Members

Can my spouse and family enter the United States on an E3 Visa?

Your spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) are eligible to enter the United States of America on an E3-D (also known as the E3 Dependent Visa).
One of the advantages of the E3 Visa is that the dependent spouse and children of an E-3 non-immigrant do not have to be Australian Citizens to be eligible for E-3D status (E-3 dependent visa).

Can my children attend school in the United States?

Yes, the children will be able to attend school in the United States of America under your status until the attain the age of 21, and following that, can apply for an independent student visa.

Can my spouse work in the United States?

Yes, spouses of E-3 Visa holders are entitled to work in the United States if they apply for a Employment Authorization Document (EAD). After admission to the United States in E-3D status, they may apply for an Employment Authorization Document, which generally takes about 3 months for United States Customs and Immigration Services to approve the work permit. The United States Customs and Immigration Services also recognizes same sex couples for the purposes of obtaining an Employment Authorization Document.
The advantage of obtaining the Employment Authorization Document is that it allows your spouse wwork anywhere, even without a college degree. Additionally, your spouse is also eligible to attend school either full-time or part time.
· Our firm assists you and your spouse in gathering the necessary documents to obtaining the Employment Authorization Document.

E3 Visa Length of Stay

What is the Length of Stay for an E3 Visa?

The length of stay is a maximum of two years, however, one of the main advantages of an E3 Visa is that extensions of stay may be granted indefinitely in increments not to exceed the validity period of the accompanying E-3 labor attestation (i.e., for increments of up to two years each).
As there is no limit on the total length of stay for an E-3 alien in the legislation, there is no specified number of extensions a qualifying E-3 Specialty Occupation Worker may be granted. Therefore, you could techinically apply for an extension as long as you wish to work in the United States.
This is a significant advantage of other visas such as the H1-B, which holds a maximum total duration of 10 years.

E3 Visa Taxes

Do I have to pay taxes in the United States?

Yes, the U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens (Publication 519) provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides these guidelines. Depending on the duration of stay in the United States, E3 visa holders are responsible for taxes as either resident or non-resident aliens. Resident aliens – those with a green card or who had a “substantial presence” in the United States – are taxed like U.S. citizens. Non-residents mostly pay taxes on their income connected to a U.S. trade or business. Remember that “resident” and “non-resident” are categories used by the IRS for tax purposes and do not necessarily reflect immigration status. For more detailed guidelines and instructions, please reference Publication 519 on the IRS’s website.

E3 Visa Lawyer Services

What are your services and what is included in the free consultation?

· Your initial consultation, whether in person, via phone or Skype, generally includes going over all the requirements with you and answering any questions you may have.
· We also discuss your education and work experience and the type of job you will be doing in the United States.
· Furthermore, upon you initial consultation, we get in touch with your employer, either through you on a conference call or separately.
The process once we begin working with you includes:
· Gathering and Collecting all necessary documentation from you (such as your work history, credentials, transcripts, and ties to Australia
· Collecting all the information from the employer (tax documents, corporate information, information about the position being offered).
· We obtain the Labor Condition Application on behalf of your employer.
· We obtain an education equivalency certificate on your behalf from a registered entity that satisfies Immigration requirements.
· We prepare a formal and detailed offer of employment tailored towards meeting both the applicant and employer specifications (specialty occupation).
· We prepare the entire file and send it to you via courier service, which you will then take to the United States Consulate in Australia upon scheduling an interview.
· We help you prepare for the interview via phone or skype and assist your employer in advising them to maintain formal requirements as mandated by Federal Law.

Request a Free Consultation

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