E-3 Visas

Australian specialty occupation workers

Created in 2005, E-3 visas are available only to Australian citizens coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform a specialty occupation. The position you plan to fill must require theoretical and practical application of a body of professional knowledge. At a minimum, you must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent expertise.

E-3 eligibility criteria

  • Australian citizenship
  • A legitimate offer of work in the U.S.
  • The required academic and professional credentials
  • You will occupy a specialty position

Meeting the E-3 eligibility criteria can be complex; if you plan on working in the U.S. as an Australian specialty occupation worker, consult with a professional immigration lawyer to ensure that you meet the requirements

Applying for an E-3 visa

Your future employer must file a Labor Conditions Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor, and a form I-129 with United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS). A business immigration attorney should guide your employer through the filing process. The I-129 must contain:

  • Proof of Australian citizenship
  • A letter from your employer in the U.S., describing your occupation, your planned length of stay, and any salary arrangements
  • Evidence that the job offered normally requires at least a bachelor’s degree in a specific field
  • Evidence that you meet the educational requirements for the visa (a bachelor’s degree or equivalent for your specialty)
  • Evidence that you meet other licensing and occupational requirements
  • Evidence that your prospective employer has filed an LCA with the Department of Labor

Period of stay/extension of stay

The initial period of stay is two years. Additional extensions of two years may be filed without limit.

Change of employer

If you change employers, your new employer must file another LCA and a new E-3 visa application on your behalf. The time between jobs may be no more than ten days.


You may bring your spouse and children under the age of 21 to the U.S. under an E-3 visa. In addition, spouses may apply for an employment authorization document to work in the United States. The process usually takes about three months.

Depending on whether you are filing for an E-3 visa from Australia or from within the United States, the requirements differ greatly. If you desire assistance with any of these filings, contact an immigration lawyer. The Law Offices of KahBo Dye-Chiew, immigration attorney, can help you arrange and plan your legal U.S. employment.

Kahbo Dye-Chiew

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