What is An E-3 Visa?
The E-3 visa was created in 2005 as a result of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA). It allows Australian nationals to live and work in the United States in specialty occupations as determined by the standards of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 214 (i)(1) for H-1B non immigrants. If granted, this visa lasts for up to 2 years, with unlimited extensions in most instances.
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If you are an Australian nation, you can come to the United States with an E-3 visa. The attorneys at Shoreline Immigration are excited to help you on your journey!
E-3 Visa FAQs
Using the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 8 CFR 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(D) as a guide, three years of professional experience for each year of higher education may qualify as a substitute for a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, a minimum of 12 years’ experience would be required for the position you are applying for. The decision to grant an E-3 visa is at the discretion of the consular officer, so it is important to bring all evidence documenting this experience. This may include certificates, licenses, affidavits, etc. An immigration attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable about E-3 visas can help you prepare a comprehensive packet detailing your training and experience.
You must apply for this visa outside the U.S. at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you wish to travel to the U.S. to search for an available position or for a job interview, you can travel on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). If you are ineligible for the VWP, you may apply for the B-1/B-2 Visitor visa. Once you have an offer of employment from a legitimate employer in a specialty occupation, you may leave the U.S. and proceed to apply for the E-3 visa.
If you decide to change employers while inside the United States, you must have the new employer obtain a certified LCA for the new position and file a Form I-129 petition. Once Form I-129 is approved, you may begin your employment. You can do this in one of two ways: either wait to leave your current employment until after your new employer files a petition with USCIS and your petition is approved; or you may end your employment before beginning your new job, in which case you must leave the U.S. and apply for an E-3 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. It is important to discuss these options with an immigration attorney prior to ending your employment since the Covid-19 pandemic has caused delays in processing times with USCIS and there may be travel restrictions.