E-3 Specialty Occupation Workers from Australia

The E-3 classification applies only to nationals of Australia. You must be coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation. The specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly 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 United States.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for an E-3 visa, you must demonstrate, among other things, that you:

  • Are a national of Australia
  • Have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States
  • Possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials
  • Will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation

Applying for an E-3 Visa from Within the United States

The Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker is used to apply for a change of status to or an extension of stay in the E-3 nonimmigrant temporary worker classification.

Supporting Documents

Your Form I-129 should include the following documents:

  • A Labor Condition Application (LCA) that indicates that it has been filed to support an E-3 classification.  
  • Academic or other credentials demonstrating qualifications for the position
  • Job offer letter or other documentation from the employer establishing that you will be engaged in a specialty occupation and that you will be paid the higher of the actual or prevailing wage
  • If required, before you may commence employment in the specialty occupation, you must have the necessary license or other official permission to practice in the specialty occupation

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

Initial Period of StayExtension of Stay
2 yearsUp to 2 years per extension; no maximum number of extensions, with some exceptions.

Change of Employer

To change employers while remaining in the United States your new employer must obtain a certified Labor Condition Application for the position in which you will be employed and properly file a Form I-129 petition. The Form I-129 petition must be approved before you are authorized to work for the new employer. USCIS may consider you to be maintaining E-3 status, following cessation of employment, for up to 60 days during the period of petition validity (or other authorized validity period).

Note: Form I-129 is also used to apply for an extension of stay or change of employment with the same employer.

Family of E-3 Nonimmigrant Workers

An E-3 nonimmigrant worker’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age are entitled to dependent E-3 classification. Your spouse is entitled to apply for work authorization, but not your children. To apply for work authorization as a spouse of an E-3 nonimmigrant, your spouse must file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. For more information on the application procedures, see the “Work Authorization” page.

More Information

Forms

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