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.
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
Applying for an E-3 Visa from Within the United States
The Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker is used 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
Applying for a Visa With a U.S. Embassy or Consulate
If your petition Form I-129 is approved, we will forward a Form I-797, Notice of Action/Approval to the employer, who in turn will forward it to you. A Form I-797 approval notice is not a U.S. visa, as the visa must be obtained at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. After Form I-129 is approved by USCIS, the next step is to apply for a U.S. visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate, generally in your country of residence abroad. Please visit the Department of State, Travel.state.gov Temporary Workers webpage for visa information, how-to-apply procedures, and U.S. embassy web contact information to learn more.
Period of Stay/Extension of Stay
|Initial Period of Stay||Extension of Stay|
|2 years||Up to 2 years per extension; 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. For more information on the application procedures, see the “Work Authorization” link to the right.