What is an E-3 Visa?
The E-3 visa, which was created in 2005 in connection with a free trade agreement between the United States and Australia, is available to appropriately-qualified Australian nationals who will work in a qualifying “specialty occupation” in the United States. There is also an E-3D visa classification for dependents, and spouses are eligible to obtain employment authorization.
E-3 Visas are available in two-year increments and may be renewed indefinitely, but do require their holders to have 100% nonimmigrant intent, meaning that E-3 Applicants must attest to the fact that they do not intend to abandon their residence outside the United States.
Green and Spiegel has a long history of working closely with the Australian community, with a particular focus on this specific classification, and we are well-positioned to help you and your family make the most of the many benefits it offers. Since spring 2020, we have been helping Australian nationals navigate some of the complex issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, whether they be Embassy/Consulate closures, travel restrictions, or job loss, and we pride ourselves on our ability to find unique solutions for unique problems.
How do you get an E-3 Visa?
An attractive feature of the E-3 Visa is that Australian nationals may choose to apply for them directly at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate abroad, meaning that applicants are able to bypass many of the cumbersome internal filing processes required for other classifications.
Individuals already in the United States may choose to instead pursue this classification by filing an internal petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which can be used to change status to E-3 from another visa classification, or to change employers when already in the United States. This process can also be used to extend an existing E-3 visa for individuals who cannot or do not want to travel abroad. While this process typically takes longer than the consular route (and involves higher government filing fees), it has become a popular option for many individuals, especially during the current pandemic.
How We Can Help You
Green and Spiegel has built up a robust E-3 practice through our close work alongside the Australian community and our ability to create solutions that are tailored to individuals’ unique circumstances. We work regularly with many large Australian expat groups and organizations in order to help promote knowledge sharing on immigration opportunities for the Australian community.
An E-3 visa infographic can be found here, created in collaboration with Aussie Recruit, a recruitment firm specialized in connecting Australian talent with U.S. employers. We hope that you find this information to be a helpful outline of the E-3 process. While instructive, we also imagine that this information may lead to additional questions regarding your specific situation – especially in light of USCIS making Premium Processing available to this classification as of February 24, 2021. For these reasons, we strongly encourage you to reach out to our office. With our extensive experience in this field, we will happily make time to strategize how best to address your needs.