The E-3 visa is is created for Australian professionals to work in specialty occupations in the U.S. It has many advantages over the other types of working visas, including the ability for spouses of E-3 visa recipients to apply for work authorization.
A specialty occupation is one that requires relevant work experience and a bachelor's degree, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the U.S for this US working visa.
The E-3 visa is multiple-entry, so provided you don't change employers or make any changes to your immigration status, you may travel outside the U.S. and re-enter on a valid, unexpired E-3 visa.
E-3 visa holders' spouses are entitled to work in the United States and may apply for an Employment Authorization Document through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. Such spousal employment may be in a position other than a specialty occupation.
E3 Visa Requirements
You meet the requirements for this US working visa if:
- You need to have a job offer from an US employer before you can apply for the E-3 visa;
- Your nominated position qualifies as a specialty occupation employment;
- You have the required education and/or work experience;
- You may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements;
- You have the necessary license or other official permission to practice in the specialty occupation. In certain cases where such license or other official permission is not required to commence employment immediately, you must demonstrate that you will obtain such licensure or permission within a reasonable period of time following admission into the United States.
The maximum validity of this visa is 24 months. This two-year period is renewable indefinitely provided you are able to demonstrate that you do not intend to remain or work permanently in the United States.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to find a job in the U.S. first before applying for an E-3 visa?
What is considered a "speciality occupation"?
The definition of “specialty occupation” is one that requires:
- A theoretical and practical experience that has led to achquirng specialized knowledge; and
- The attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its USA equivalent).
In determining whether an occupation qualifies as a “specialty occupation,” follow the definition contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 214 (i)(1) for H-1B non-immigrants and applicable standards and criteria determined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
There is no definitive list of occupations eligible for the E3 visa.
Where do I need to be at the time of lodgment?
I am a skilled tradesperson with qualifications and experience in plumbing/electrical work/carpentry for example. Do these trades qualify as specialty occupations for the E-3 visa?
May spouses work?
Can I travel outside the U.S. while on my E-3 visa?
Can I change employers once I am in the U.S. and stay on the E-3 visa?
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