Its for Australian Nationals / Citizens to Live and Work in the USA
The E3 visa was originally introduced into the US Immigration system in 2005.
Australians are now able to apply for E3 visas in order to live and work in the USA. The E3 visa will help Australian business people and professionals capitalise on the opportunities offered under the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA).
Qualified Australians wishing to live and work in the USA now find themselves in a privileged position. They have access to a dedicated visa that is easier and less costly to obtain than the traditional H1B work visa.
Each year 10,500 E3 visas are reserved exclusively for Australian nationals. Unlike the H1B visa, spouses of E3 visa holders are now able to work in the United States – eliminating a barrier that in practice has stopped many Australians from applying for temporary residence in the US. E-3 visa holders will be able to apply for extensions. The application fee for an E3 visa is significantly lower than for the H1B visa.
The Requirements to qualify for an E3 visa: an applicant must demonstrate:
that he or she must have a legitimate offer of employment in the US
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, and
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 E3 visas can be issued per year.
Frequently Asked Questions About the E3 Visa Program for Australians:
Q: What is an E3 Visa ?
A: The E3 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 work visa ?
A: The legislation limited the E3 visa to nationals of Australia.
Q: Who qualifies for the E3 visa ?
A: The new E3 visa classification currently applies only to nationals of Australia as well as their spouses and children. E3 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 E3 visa ?
A: Submit a job offer letter from the prospective United States-based employer. A treaty alien in a specialty occupation must meet the general academic and occupational requirements for the position pursuant to INA 214(i)(1). In addition to the nonimmigrant visa application, the following documentary evidence must be submitted in connection with an application for an E3 visa:
~ A certified Form ETA 9035, clearly annotated as “E3 – Australia – to be processed.” (Note: DOL is currently updating the Form ETA 9035 to include an option check box for E3 classification, which will eliminate the need for the interim handwritten annotation).
~ Evidence of academic or other qualifying credentials as required under INA 214(i)(1), and 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). A certified copy of the foreign degree and evidence that it is equivalent to the required U.S. degree could be used to satisfy the “qualifying credentials” requirement. Likewise, a certified copy of a U.S. baccalaureate or higher degree, as required by the specialty occupation, would meet the minimum evidentiary standard.
~~ In the absence of an academic or other qualifying credential(s), evidence of education and experience that is equivalent to the required US degree.
~~ Evidence establishing that the applicant’s stay in the United States will be temporary.
~~ A certified copy of any required license or other official permission to practice the occupation in the state of intended employment if so required or, where licensure is not necessary to commence immediately the intended specialty occupation employment upon admission, evidence that the alien will be obtaining the required license within a reasonable time after admission.
~~ Evidence of payment of the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) Fee, also known as the application fee.
Q: What is an E3 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 H1B 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 E3 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, from the Department of Labor.
Q: How long is the E3 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 E3 visa ?
A: Other than the normal visa application fee, there is no issuance fee.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of E3 visas that can be issued ?
A: Yes, there will be a maximum of 10,500 E3 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 E3 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 principle applicant is the recipient of an E3 visa.
Q: Can spouses of E3 visa holders 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 E3 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 E3 visas.
Q: Can I renew the E3 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 E3 visas ?
A: Embassies and Consulates are already issuing the E-3 visa.
Q: How do I apply to get issued an E3 visa ?
A: You may make your appointment for an interview as soon as you have all the documents prepared.
Q: How long does it take to apply for an E3 visa petition?
A: The wait times at each Consulate vary, so check with your nearest Consulate to make an appointment.
TO GET AN E3 VISA ISSUED – YOU MUST FIRST FIND A JOB WITH A COMPANY IN THE USA WHO WILL “SPONSOR” (apply for) YOUR E3 VISA
E3 WORK VISA UPDATE
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USClS) issued guidance regarding E3 nonimmigrant Specialty Occupation Workers. In particular, USCIS provided specific information on the eligibility requirements and documentation needed for individuals wishing to either change their nonimmigrant status to that of an E3 worker or to extend their E3 status.
Established by the REAL ID Act of 2005, the E3 nonimmigrant classification allows for the admission of a temporary worker who is national of Australia and is entering the U.S. to perform services in a “specialty occupation.” As is generally the case, nonimmigrant aliens who are already legally in the United States may apply to change their status to that of an E-3 specialty worker and, eventually, apply to extend their stay in E3 classification.
Note: The new E3 nonimmigrant category should not be confused with the separate and independent H-1B nonimmigrant category for “specialty occupation” workers.
To qualify for E3 classification, an alien must, among other things, be an Australian national who is seeking employment in a specialty occupation requiring possession of a bachelor’s degree or higher (or its equivalent), and possess the appropriate degree (or its equivalent) in the field in which the alien wishes to work. E3 nonimmigrant status is initially granted for a period of no more than two years. Extensions of stay may be granted indefmitely in increments not to exceed two years.
Congress has established a yearly cap of 10,500 new E3 workers. For purposes of the cap, “new E3 workers” are those who, coming from abroad, are admitted initially in E-3 classification or those who change their nonimmigrant status to E3 classification or change employers while in E3 status. Unlike the dependent of an alien in H-lB nonimmigrant classification, the dependent spouse of an E-3 temporary worker may apply for and receive work authorization.
An alien seeking to be admitted in E3 nonimmigrant classification at a U.S. Port-of-Entry must posses a valid E3 visa issued by the U.S. Department of State. Aliens already in the United States may request a change of status to E3 or extend their E3 status by filing a Form 1- 129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) directly with the Vermont Service Center. The cost for filing the request for change of status or extension of stay is $190. In addition to the Form 1-129, applicants must include the following documentation:
Proof of Australian nationality,
A letter from the prospective U.S. employer describing the alien’s occupation, the alien’s anticipated length of stay, and salary/remuneration arrangements,
Evidence that the alien meets the educational requirements for the position to be filled (a bachelor’s degree or higher or its equivalent in the specific specialty occupation),
Evidence that the alien meets any licensing or other occupational requirements, and
Evidence that the prospective U.S. employer has filed with the Department of Labor a labor condition application (LCA) specifically designated for E3 Specialty Occupations.
More information about the E3 temporary work visa and temporary worker programs in general is available on the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov and on the Department of State website at www.state.gov