E-3 Visas: Visas for Australian professionals
What is an E-3 visa and its benefits?
It is a visa exclusively for Australian citizens who wish to visit the United States to perform professional
or specialist occupations or assignments while in the country. The dependent spouse and children of an
Australian citizen who holds an E-3 visa may also apply and hold E-3 visas. The dependent spouse of the
E-3 professional may also apply for employment authorization and work while in the United States.
What is the difference between an E-3 visa and the E-1 and E-2 visas?
An E-3 visa is also considered a treaty visa, hence its classification under the E category of visas. The
holders of an E-3 visa are considered “treaty aliens” but the employment of E-3 visa holders need not be
directly related to trade and investment. The E-3 visa holder must have a US employer who will obtain a
certified labor condition application from the Department of Labor on behalf of the E-3 visa applicant.
An applicant need not prove possession of any distinction, merit or ability as professionals to qualify for
an E-3 visa. It is even possible for the holders of an E-3 visa to work part-time while staying in the United
States, but they must prove that they have sufficient resources and funds to support themselves while
staying in the United States and that they will not become a public charge.
An applicant for an E-3 visa need not prove that they intend to stay in the United States only
temporarily. They do not need to prove that they have a residence abroad as they may sell their
residence and move all their personal effects and household properties to the United States.
An applicant for an E-3 visa may also be the beneficiary of a n immigrant petition at the same time that
they have a valid E-3 visa.
What are the limits of an E-3 visa?
An E-3 visa can be valid for up to two years. It can be renewed indefinitely. However, every year, only
10,500 E-3 visas can be issued to Australian professionals. Before an application for an E-3 application
can be made, the applicant’s employer must complete a labor condition application and submit it
electronically to the Department of Labor. The US employer of the Australian national must also issue a
support statement. If a person who is issued an E-3 visa who changes employers during the pendency of
the stay in the US and the validity of the E-3 visa, the applicant must file a change of employer with the
US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Do I have to be in Australia to apply for an E-3 visa?
You can apply for an E-3 visa while you are in Australia, but you apply even when you are in the US on a
different visa. However, when you are in the US when you apply for an E-3 visa, you must file a change
of status or a change of employer with the USCIS as well. Your US employer must also issue and file a
labor condition application with the US Department of Labor and an Employer Support Statement.
What are the eligibility requirements to apply for an E-3 visa?
The applicants must prove that:
- They are citizens or nationals of Australia.
- They are professionals.
- The Australian company that employs them has assigned them to their offices in the United
- Or, they are employed by a US company.
- The Australian citizen has a bachelor’s degree or equivalent academic or professional experience
- The Australian citizen has a valid professional license or professional registration in Australia
What if applicants have no bachelor’s degree or any professional license or registration when applying
for an E-3 visa?
The E-3 applicants must demonstrate, instead, that they will obtain a license or permission within a
reasonable time after being admitted into the United States. In this case, the applicants must present
evidence that they satisfy the requirements for licensure or professional registration in the United
What documents are required when applying for an E-3 Visa?
The following documents are required:
- Duly accomplished Form I-129
- Proof of Australian citizenship or nationality (Australian passport or Australian certificate of birth
or Certificate of Naturalisation)
- Employment contract or employment certificate issued by the US employer
- Certified Labor Condition filed by the US employer with the US Department of Labor
- Employer Support Statement
- Evidence of professional qualification or license
For the dependent spouse or children of an E-3 Australian professional:
- Proof of Australian citizenship or nationality
- Proof of relationship with the principal applicant such as a certificate of birth or certificate of
- Proof of relationship with the principal applicant such as a marriage certificate or a certificate of
domestic or civil union.
What is the requirement for a Certified Labor Condition?
A certified labor condition is a document issued by the US employer of the E-3 visa applicant where the
US employer certifies that:
- There is no strike or lockout in the worksite where the applicant seeks to be employed.
- The working conditions of the foreign national will not aversely affect the conditions for other
employees who are similarly situated.
- The wages paid to the E-3 applicant is the actual wage level paid to other employees with the
same experience and qualifications.
- Or that the wages paid to the E-3 applicant is at the same level as the prevailing wage level for
the same occupation in the wake area of employment.
- The Employer notified the union or bargaining representative in the workplace of the filing of
the labor condition application.
What is a Company Support Statement?
A company support statement is a sworn statement issued by the US Employer of the Australian
national. It must be written on the letterhead or stationery of the company and signed by a
representative of the company. It contains the following information:
- Information about the company and the business it is engaged in;
- The company’s Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN);
- A description of the professional or specialty occupation to be engaged in;
- A description of the Australian national’s experience and academic background;
- Reasons why the employer or project needs the services of the Australian national in the US
- Duties of the Australian national while assigned in the United States
- The length of stay or assignment to the United States;
What must an applicant for an E-3 visa prove?
The applicants for an E-3 visa must prove that:
- They are bona fide employees of an Australian company with offices in the United States or of a
US company with business in Australia
- They have a real job to perform or project to fulfill while in the United States;
- They have specialist skills or professional qualifications necessary for the job in the United
- They will stay only for the duration of their employment or project;
- They intend to return to Australia when their E-3 status employment or visa ends.
Can we help you? The E-3 is the visa that takes the shortest time to be issued, however, this does not
mean that it is easy to gather the documents required to support the filing of the Form I-129. The Form
I-129 is a petition which requires factual and legal information. We can help your employer draft the
Labor Condition Application and the Employer Statement of Support to ensure that your petition will not
be rejected because it is incomplete, or the information contained in it is deficient or inaccurate.
Contact us today, and let us at Lluis Law help you.