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Update on US E-3 visa for Australians

In July 2005, the US Department of State (DOS) announced that the target start date for the E-3 visa, designed exclusively for Australians, would be early August 2005. However, the start date has not yet been announced. knows that many of our readers want to know specific details about the visa. Until the DOS puts the procedures in place for the E-3 visas for Australians, however, these visas remain unavailable. It is hoped that processing for Australians in the E-3 classification will start in very soon, when all of the procedures are completed for their E-3 visa issuance. The cost of these visas is not yet known. It is also unclear whether Australians in the US on H1B visas will be able to switch to E-3 visas.

The US Congress brought good news to many Australians when it announced in early May 2005 that it would designate 10,500 newly created E-3 visas just for Australians. This removes Australians from the H-1B quota and offers them a visa that is similar, but more flexible. It has some of the elements of an E treaty visa and should be very useful to Australian nationals seeking work in the US.