E-3 VISAS FOR SPECIALITY OCCUPATION PROFESSIONALS FROM AUSTRALIA

INTRODUCTION

 

The E-3 classification applies only to nationals of Australia.  You must be coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation.  The specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of knowledge in professional fields and at least the attainment of a bachelor's degree, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

 

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

 

To qualify for an E-3 visa, you must demonstrate that you:

Are a national of Australia

Have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States

Possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials

Will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation

 

  • If you meet this criteria, your employer may file the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker to apply for a change of status to obtain E-3 nonimmigrant temporary worker classification.   Your Form I-129 must include the following documents:

  • A Labor Condition Application (LCA) which cannot be the same application used in a previous H-1B application. Until the Department of Labor develops a new LCA for an E-3, the applicant should use the standard ETA-9035 and ask that it be annotated as an E-3 LCA

  • Academic or other credentials demonstrating qualifications for the position

  • Job offer letter or other documentation from the employer establishing that you will be engaged in a specialty occupation and that you will be paid the higher of the actual or prevailing wage

  • If required, before you may commence employment in the specialty occupation, you must have the necessary license or other official permission to practice in the specialty occupation

 

PERIOD OF STAY

 

Initial Period of Stay is 2 years, and an Extension of Stay of upto 2 years per extension is available.  There is no maximum number of extensions, with some exceptions.

 

CHANGE OF EMPLOYMENT

 

Your new employer must file a new Labor Condition Application and a new E-3 visa application.  The gap between the jobs must be 10 days or less.  Note: Form I-129 is used to apply for an extension of stay or change of employment.

 

FAMILY OF E-3 VISA HOLDERS

 

Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age are entitled to the same E-3 classification.  Your spouse is entitled to work authorization, but not your children.  To apply for work authorization as a spouse of an E-3 nonimmigrant, your spouse would file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

 

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