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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.

Eligibility Criteria

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.

E-3 Dependents

  • 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.