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
How many E-3 visas are granted each year?Elizabeth Garvish2022-07-08T14:13:55-04:00
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.
Can a spouse and children accompany the E-3 visa holder?Elizabeth Garvish2022-07-08T14:11:24-04:00 Who are good candidates for an E-3 visa?Elizabeth Garvish2022-07-08T14:12:53-04:00
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