E3 Visa for Australians in a Specialty Occupation

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If you are an Australian citizen with a professional level job in the US you may apply for an E3 visa for entry to the US to take a job in a 'specialty occupation'. This is a huge benefit for Australian citizens who would otherwise perhaps have to come under the H1B visa category which is heavily oversubscribed at the beginning of April each year.  In comparison the E3 visa quota of 10,500 for Australian citizens only is never fully used. In addition unlike with the H1B visa spouses of E3 visa holders are allowed to work.

Several supporting documents must be provided, and other conditions must be met. These include:

  • An academic qualification at least equivalent to a US bachelor's degree, or experience and qualifications equivalent to at least an US bachelors degree.

  • Proof of a US job offer in a specialty occupation, which is a professional level job that usually requires a US bachelor's degree or equivalent, or higher level qualification. Some of these jobs include:

    • IT Jobs such as analysts, programmers, etc.
    • Business manager
    • Healthcare and medical practitioners
    • Educational specialists such as teachers, consultants, and managers
    • Researchers
  • Any relevant licenses or other qualifications for the job offered
  • A Labor Conditional Application confirming that the salary is the prevailing wage for the job.  The salary must be the usual salary or higher for that type of job in that part of the US.

E3 Visa Length of stay

E3 visas are issued for an initial period of 2 years, and can be renewed in 2 year increments indefinitely.

Comparisons of E3, E2, H1B and L1 visas

If you are an Australian businessperson or wish to be self employed it may be better to register a business under the E2 visa scheme.  However, this is a much more complex and difficult procedure compared to the E3 visa.  E2 visas can also be extended indefinitely.

If you are an Australian citizen then probably it is best to avoid applying for an H1B visa.  The H1B quota is typically used up within a few days of becoming available in April each year.  You can only start work in October each year.

Possibly if you wish to gain lawful permanent residence (a green card) under the EB1C category as a manager or executive it may be beneficial to obtain an L1 visa first as a manager or executive.  However, the procedure typically is a lot more complex and difficult than the E3 visa scheme.  Possibly for larger employers the L1 visa based on a blanket petition is not so difficult.

E3 Treaty visa application process

You can apply in your Country of residence or citizenship.  There is no need for the employer to submit a petition to the USCIS in the US.  It is a much cheaper, simpler and easier process to apply for the E3 visa compared to the H1B visa and say the L1 visa.  To apply for an E3 visa please contact workpermit.com on 0344 991 9222 or at london@workpermit.com

Further information, help, and advice

Workpermit.com's team of specialists has over 25 years of experience in immigration services, and have helped thousands of people to study and work in the US and other Countries. All applications for US visas are dealt with a US qualified lawyer that is typically also a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

For more information and advice on US immigration law and US visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at london@workpermit.com