Certain Specialty Occupation Professionals from Australia
The E-3 visa is a non-immigrant category available to Certain Specialty Occupation Professionals from Australia and their families. Provided you have valid employment, it authorizes you to live and work in the United States for two years or longer.
Only a limited number of E-3 visas are available, and meeting the qualifications can prove challenging. At Garvish Immigration Law Group, we are here to help. Our Atlanta employment-based immigration lawyers have successfully assisted countless professionals from Australia through the process. We serve as a trusted guide in making your American Dream come true.
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What Is An E-3 Visa for Specialty Occupation Professionals From Australia?
An E-3 visa is similar to an H-1B visa, a non-immigrant classification for people in specialty occupations. It is subject to the same labor certification process through the U.S. Department of Labor. However, unlike the H-1B program, which is available to foreign nationals from various countries, the E-3 visa is available only to professionals from Australia.
To be eligible for an E-3 visa, you must have achieved a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and work in an occupation that requires practical and theoretical application of specialized knowledge. Career fields in which candidates may qualify for an E-3 visa include:
- Computer programming;
- Arts and Education;
- Legal practice;
- Medicine and health care;
- Performing arts;
- Science and research.
Benefits of An E-3 Visa For Professionals From Australia
Congress created the E-3 visa program for Specialty Occupation Professionals from Australia in 2005 during negotiations for the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA). The program acknowledges the contributions professionals from Australia make to the U.S. and offers significant benefits not available through the H-1B program:
- An E-3 visa is generally quicker to obtain;
- It allows you to remain in the U.S. for up to two years, with generally no limit on additional two-year extensions;
- For spouses of E-3 visa holders, there are no work restrictions;
- An E-3 visa is not subject to the H-1B visa cap, nor is there as much competition to obtain one.
Requirements for an E-3 Visa
As experienced immigration lawyers, we provide trusted legal guidance for professionals from Australia who are seeking an E-3 visa. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) outlines the requirements:
- You must be a national of Australia;
- You must have a legitimate job offer in the United States;
- You must work in an occupation that requires specialized knowledge;
- You must have the necessary academic credentials or other qualifying experience.
E-3 Visa Application Process
Approval for the E-3 visa program is generally quicker than other non-immigrant classifications. However, you could still be facing a considerable wait. Having our experienced Atlanta employment-based immigration lawyers on your side helps speed the process. We guide you in completing Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, and submitting the required supporting documents. These include:
- A Labor Condition Application (LCA), indicating support of an E-3 classification;
- Copies of your diploma, school records, and other academic credentials;
- Your credentials as a specialty occupation professional from Australia;
- Your job offer or other documentation from your employer stated your specialty occupation and payment at or above the prevailing wage;
- Any special licenses or other certifications required by your occupation.
FAQs About E-3 Visas
The maximum amount of E-3 visas granted for Certain Specialty Occupation Professionals from Australia is 10,500. While this is significantly lower than the 65,000 caps on H-1B visas, there is less competition. To date, the E-3 visa cap has never been reached.
As an E-3 visa holder, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may accompany you to the U.S. Your spouse is automatically authorized to work in the U.S.
There is no definitive list of specialty occupations eligible for an E-3 visa. You may be considered a candidate provided your position requires specialized knowledge and a college degree.
Even if you do not have a bachelor’s degree, you may still be eligible. Under Section 8 CFR 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(D) of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, three years of professional experience may be substituted for each year of education. This means you could qualify for an E-3 visa provided you have 12 years of experience in your field.
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An E-3 visa qualifies professionals from Australia to live and work in the U.S. for an extended period accompanied by their families. However, obtaining one is often confusing and time-consuming. At Garvish Immigration Law Group, we provide the trusted legal guidance you need throughout the process. To request a consultation with our Atlanta employment-based immigration lawyers, call 1.800.951.4980 or contact our office online today.