The E-3 visa is basically an H-1B visa for Australians with most of the same evidentiary requirements and procedures. The visa is granted for two years and can be renewed every two years indefinitely (with some exceptions).
Additional Details for E-2 Visas
What is the E-3 visa?
The E-3 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for Australian nationals coming to the U.S. to work in a specialty occupation. The E-3 visa is very similar to the H-1B in many respects. Like the H-1B visa, the E-3 requires that the beneficiary come to the U.S. to work in a specialty occupation. Unlike the H-1B visa, however, the E-3 visa lasts for two years and allows for virtually unlimited extensions.
Who qualifies for the E-3 visa?
To qualify for the E-3 visa, the applicant must meet the following requirements:
– The applicant must be a native of Australia;
– The applicant must possess either a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree or a foreign degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelors or higher degree;
– The applicant must have a job offer from a U.S. company willing to petition on the applicant’s behalf;
– The offered job must constitute a specialty occupation.
What qualifies as a specialty occupation?
Similar to the H-1B, an E-3 visa requires that the position which the applicant is expected to fill qualifies as a “specialty occupation.” The requirements for specialty occupation for the purposes of an E-3 visa are the same as the requirements for the H-1B. To show that the proffered position is a specialty occupation, the applicant must show:
– A bachelor’s degree or higher is the normal the minimum entry requirement;
– The degree requirement is common in the industry, or the position is so complex or unique that it requires a degree;
– The petitioning employer usually requires a degree for the offered position;
– The nature of the duties is so complex that the knowledge required to perform such duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Can you petition for yourself?
No, a company must submit an E-3 visa petition on behalf of a qualifying prospective employee.
How long does the E-3 visa last?
The E-3 visa lasts two years and may be extended up to two years at a time. There is no limit to how many times the E-3 visa may be extended.
Can you include family on the E-3 visa?
An E-3 visa holder may include spouses and unmarried children under 21 in their petition. Spouses are eligible for employment authorization, but the children of E-3 visa holders are not. Upon approval of the E-3 visa petition, spouses and children are admitted in E-3 status.
Is there a cap to how many E-3 visas are issued?
No more than 10,500 E-3 visas may be issued in a year. Dependents are not counted toward the 10,500-visa cap. Unlike the H-1B visa, the cap for the E-3 visa does not typically get reached.
What documents do you need for the E-3 visa?
If you think you qualify for the E-3 visa, you should start gathering the following documents:
– Job offer letter from a U.S. employer;
– College or university degrees and transcripts;
– Evidence of other education or training in the related specialty;
– Any licenses or certifications related to the specialty;
Can you do premium processing for an E-3 visa?
No, the E-3 visa is one of the few visas included on Form I-129 for which you cannot submit a premium processing request.
What is the difference between the E-3 and the H-1B?
Although the requirements are fairly similar, there are many differences between the E-3 and H-1B visa. Most obviously, the E-3 visa is only available to Australian nationals. Another difference is the duration of the status. E-3 visas are valid for two years while H-1B visas are valid for three years. Unlike the H-1B, however, there is no limit to how long you can be present in the U.S. on E-3 status, as long as the petitioner goes through the appropriate channels to extend the E-3 for the beneficiary. The E-3 may be extended in increments of two years at a time. Additionally, the spouse of E-3 visa holders is eligible for worth authorization.
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