E3 Visa Immigration Lawyers: US work visa for Australians
What is the E3 Visa?
The E3 visa is a non-immigrant visa status that allows citizens of Australia to work in the United States for periods of 2 years in a specialty occupation, which can be renewed indefinitely. Unlike the H1B and TN visa, the E3 visa allows the spouse of the applicant to get employment.
Who can apply for the E3 Visa?
Any Australian citizen who holds a bachelor’s or higher degree (or its equivalent) and has a specialty job offer in the United States that requires that specific degree.
Can I apply for the E3 Visa while in the United States?
You cannot apply for the visa, but you can change your visa status to E3 visa while in the United States on another visa type. It is important to note that in order to change your status to E3 you must enter the United States with a Visa (it can be a Visitor Visa, Student Visa, J1, or other legal status) and not under the visa waiver program. It is also necessary to have an Australian passport.
What if I am in the United States under the visa waiver program and want to adjust to the E3 visa because an employer wants to sponsor me?
If you are present in the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, you must apply for the E3 visa through a foreign US Consulate. If for any reason you cannot travel back to Australia you can apply for the visa at a US Consulate in Canada, but please note that sometimes it takes several weeks to get an appointment and this process is not guaranteed.
Do I need a job offer first?
Yes, in order to qualify for the E3 visa a US employer must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) on your behalf. The duration of your visa is determined by the duration of the LCA. Your E3 visa status can be renewed indefinitely as long as the applicant has the intent to go back to Australia at some point.
Is there a limit of E3 visas?
Yeah, each fiscal year (starts on October 1st of each year) there’s a limited number of 10,500 E3 visas. Spouses and children of applicants do not count against the annual quota.
I have a same-sex partner / civil partnership. Can he/she count as my spouse?
No. Federal Laws in United States require a marriage certificate in order to apply as an E3D (Dependant). Same-sex civil partnerships or unions are not recognized as E3D and they must apply separately for their own E3 visa status.
Can I work for more than one employer?
No. The E3 visa is valid for only one employer.
Can I change employer while I am working on E3 status?
Yes, you may change employers, but the new position must still be in the specialty occupation related to your degree. Your new employer must lodge a new Labor Condition Application (LCA), and the gap between jobs must be 10 days or less. For a change of E3 employer within the U.S., the individual does not need to reapply for a new E3 visa, but needs to submit a change of employer petition to USCIS. An E3 change of employer petition is counted against the annual E3 cap.
Can I apply for a Green Card while in E3 status?
Unlike the H1B and certain other visa types, the E3 visa does not allow you to seek permanent residence. Since this status is intended for a temporary job, the applicant must prove that he/she has ties in Australia and wants to move back to Australia eventually. Note however that there may be other options available which should be discussed with an immigration attorney.
“Helping you to obtain the right visa, when you need it”
When you contact our firm for an initial consultation, we will take the time to educate and explain the immigration laws, regulations and the visa application procedures of the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, formerly known as the INS or Immigration and Naturalization Service). As a client, you will work directly with an experienced attorney who will be able to answer any questions you have and keep you informed and aware of new developments as your case moves forward.
For all of your legal immigration needs, contact the immigration lawyers of Muston & Jack, P.C., at our San Jose or Los Angeles California law offices to schedule an initial consultation.