Australians and The E-3 Visa

Mr Maher has helped Australian nationals with a work visa that is unique to them. The E-3 visa is available to Australians who have an offer of employment from a company in the United States that wishes to employ them.  The visa is similar in many ways to the H-1B visa in that the employment has to be for a specialty occupation. According to USCIS’s website, in order to be a specialty occupation, the job must meet one of the following criteria:

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher or its equivalent is the minimum entry level requirement for the position;
  • The degree required is common to the industry or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree;
  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position;
  • The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher degree.

In order for the employee to accept the position, the beneficiary must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Hold a U.S. Bachelor’s Degree or higher that is required for the position;
  • Hold a foreign degree that is equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor’s Degree  required for the position;
  • Hold an unrestricted state license, or certification that authorizes you to practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in the state of intended employment;
  • Have education or training or progressively responsible experience in the specialty occupation that is the equivalent to the completion of such a degree.

The sponsoring company must also file an approved form ETA-9035, Labor Condition Certification (LCA, ) and Form I-129 “Petition for a non-Immigrant Worker” with USCIS. There are exceptions to this method of filing, however. Under certain circumstances, a prospective employee currently working or living in the United State under a status other than E-3 may be able to accept employment under the E-3 visa. 

A petitioner employer may file an LCA for the prospective employee and upon approval request that the employee beneficiary apply for an E-3 visa on the Department of State’s website and then follow up with the scheduling of an appointment for an interview at a consular post outside of the United States.  Depending upon the circumstances, this method may allow an employer to quickly hire a prospective employee, thus saving the time and expense often required to recruit and hire an employee who is qualified under this visa.