E-3 SPECIALTY OCCUPATION PROFESSIONALS FROM AUSTRALIA
The E-3 visa classification applies only to Australian citizens, holding a valid Australian Passport, and their spouses (must have a marriage certificate because de facto relationships are not recognised in the US for immigration purposes) and children. You must be coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation. There will be a maximum of 10,500 E-3 visas
issued annually during each fiscal year. Note that spouses and children do not count against the quota nor do applicants extending their E-3 visa, while in the US.
E-3 Visa Eligibility Criteria
To qualify for an E-3 visa, you must show that you:
- Are a National of Australia
- Have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States
- Have the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials
- Will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation
What is a 'Specialty Occupation'?
A 'Specialty Occupation' is defined as an occupation 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.
The following Forms and supporting documents are required for the E-3 visa, which is to be filed at the US Embassy or Consulate in Australia:
- Form I-129 - Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker
- A Labor Condition Application (LCA) - cannot be the same application used in a previous H-1B application.
- 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.
- Occupation License - 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.
Process to apply for E-3D (dependent) visa
To demonstrate that your relationship with your spouse exists, you would need to provide a marriage certificate. The process to apply for an E-3D Dependent visa is as follows:
1. Separate Application
- the dependent must make a separate visa application (complete DS-160 Form and select 'E-3' for dependents), similar process to the principal applicant and then needs to schedule an Interview at the US Consulate.
2. Provide Principal Applicant's documents
- must show that the principal applicant is the recipient of an E-3 visa by providing a copy of the visa or, if the applicant has obtained E-3 status in the U.S., the I-797 Approval Notice.
3. Permission to Work
- 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 (USCIS). When completing the form, applicants will need to select the visa type E1/E2, as E3 is not listed as an option. Note that Children are not permitted to work.