E-3 Visa for Australian Nationals
The E-3 visa classification applies only to citizens of Australia as well as their spouses and children. E-3 principal applicants must be going to the U.S. solely to work in a specialty occupation.
The definition of “specialty occupation” is one that requires:
- A theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge; and
- The attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the U.S.
The proffered position will qualify provided that it requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a specialty occupation. The applicant must prove eligibility for the E-3 category with documentation of sufficient educational credentials, licensure, and/or experience.
Work authorization for E-3 workers is employer-specific (i.e. limited to employment with the approved employer/petitioner).
Prerequisites to Filing an E-3 Petition
There are numerous obligations of an E-3 employer that must be considered:
- The petitioner must be a viable entity that can pay the applicant the prevailing wage for someone in a similar position in the location where the work is primarily performed.
- A Labor Condition Application (LCA, or ETA Form 9035) must be certified by the Department of Labor (DOL) before the petition is submitted to USCIS or U.S. embassy/consulate.
- The employer must also document compliance with the LCA requirements in a “Public Access File” (PAF). The LCA and PAF contain standard attestations that the employer must make, as well as basic wage and location information about the proposed E-3 employment, including rate of pay, period of employment, and work location.
An E-3 application can be submitted in-person upon scheduling a visa interview at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy in Australia. Alternatively, an application can be submitted to USCIS; upon approval, the foreign national will attend a visa interview abroad.
The spouse and unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of the primary E-3 applicant may also receive an E-3 visa to accompany or follow the primary holder. They are not required to have the same nationality as the principal applicant. Spouses and children may attend school, and spouses are eligible to apply for work authorization in the U.S.