E-3: Australians in Specialty Occupations
The E-3 classification applies only to nationals of Australia. Applicants must be coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation. The specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. For more information, see the U.S. Embassy in Canberra website.
To qualify for E-3 status, a person must demonstrate:
- They are a national of Australia
- Have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States
- Possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials
- Will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation
Applying for a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate
An applicant for an E-3 visa must present the following documents to the U.S. Embassy or Consular official:
- Copy of the certified Labor Condition Application (LCA)
- Letter from host department that includes a legitimate offer of employment, salary (paid at the higher , anticipated length of stay, and evidence that the position qualifies as a specialty occupation.
- DS-160 confirmation page (available after completing the electronic nonimmigrant visa application, Form DS-160. A digital photo may need to be uploaded with this application.
- Australian passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of proposed travel
- Proof of payment of the Machine Readable Visa fee
- Certified copies of diplomas, transcripts and other academic credentials
- Proof that the applicant will have the necessary license or other official permission to practice in the specialty occupation before commencing employment
- CV or resume
- Photos of visa applicant. Requirements here.
- Proof that stay in the U.S. will be temporary.
If applying for an E-3 visa outside of Australia, re-confirm with that U.S. Embassy or Consulate if they will entertain an E-3 visa application and verify if they have any other special requirements.
Applying for E-3 status within the U.S.
- I-797 Notice of Action approval of an I-129 petition
- An approved Labor Condition Application (LCA), which the U.S. employer obtains from the Department of Labor.
- Academic or other credentials demonstrating qualifications for the position
- Job offer letter or other documentation from the employer establishing an applicant will be engaged in a specialty occupation and will be paid the higher of the actual or prevailing wage
- Specialty Occupation credentials (diploma, transcript)
- If required, before commencing employment in the specialty occupation, an applicant must have the necessary license or other official permission to practice in the specialty occupation
Period of Stay/Extension of Stay
- Initial period of Stay- 2 years
- Extension of stay-Up to 2 years per extension; no maximum number of extensions, with some exceptions
Change of Employment
- New employer must file a new Labor Condition Application
- New employer must file I-129 is used to apply for change of employment.
- Spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age are entitled to the same E-3 classification.
- Spouse is entitled to work authorization, but not your children.
- To apply for work authorization as a spouse of an E-3 non-immigrant, spouse would file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.