The United States has a specific visa for Australians looking to work some occupations. It is called the E-3 Visa and requires sponsorship by a US employer. This post answers several related questions, starting with what is an E3 Visa.
An E3 Visa allows specialty occupation workers from Australia to enter the United States for employment. It is similar to the US H-1B Visa but is exclusively for Australian nationals. The visa was created by a US Congress Act due to the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA), despite not being part of the agreement.
E3 Visa holders can live and work full-time in the US for up to two years. Besides, it is extendable multiple times.
How Long is the E-3 Visa Valid for in the US?
An E3 Visa allows you to stay and work in the United States for up to two years. However, you may be eligible to apply for one or multiple extensions without limits.
What are the Requirements for an E-3 Visa?
To qualify for an E3 Visa, you must satisfy the following criteria following without any exception:
- Be a citizen of Australia
- Possess a valid job offer to work in the United States
- Hold all your educational and professional certificates
- Be about to occupy a position eligible as a specialty occupation
Related: How to Get E1 Visa for Treaty Traders in the USA.
Is It Hard to Get an E-3 Visa?
Yes, the United States E3 Visa has a straightforward application process. Its processing is also less competitive than other types of US visas, including the H-1B visa.
You can get the visa at most one week after your appointment at the embassy or consulate.
Does E-3 Visa Require Sponsorship?
Yes, a US employer must sponsor you before you can qualify for an E3 Visa. If you apply without a sponsorship, your application won’t have a petitioner and will be refused.
Is E-3 Visa Permanent?
No, an E3 Visa allows you to stay temporarily in the United States. It is a work visa valid for up to two years and is extendable for the same period, regardless of your qualifications.
Can an E-3 Visa Be Converted to a Green Card?
Yes, you can apply for a US green card, i.e., permanent residency, while holding an E-3 Visa. The conversion is possible by applying for an immigrant visa, such as Family Immigration, Fiancé(e) Visas, or Employment Visa.
Be aware that you can apply for an E-3 Visa in the USA. You’ll have to apply for a change of status or visa extension by completing the Form I-129.
Here is a list of other documents to submit with your visa application:
- Academic or professional credentials which help to prove your eligibility for the job
- A valid job offer letter or any other document from your employer showing that you’ll be working a specialty occupation. It must also prove your salary is higher than the US minimum wage.
- A Labor Condition Application (LCA) indicating its filing to support your status as a specialty occupation worker