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.

Australian specialty occupation workers (E-3) Visas

Similar to the H-1B Visas discussed above except that they are only available for persons who are citizens of Australia. Although there is an annual cap of 10,500 new E-3 visas which may be issued in a fiscal year, this cap has not yet been met.

Professionals entering the United States pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (TN)

The NAFTA or TN Visa allows U.S. Companies to employ foreign professional workers who are citizens of Canada or Mexico in those professional positions which are specifically listed in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The foreign worker must be entering the United States to work in one of the listed positions and must meet the requirements which are listed therein. For a list of professions, please see NAFTA Professionals List.
Practise Areas

Intra-company transferees (L) Visas

Allow multinational organizations to move their executive, managerial or essential employees to work for its related organization in the United States. In order to qualify for this visa, the U.S. Company which desires to employ the foreign worker must at least be able to show that:
  • The U.S. Company is a branch, subsidiary, affiliate or parent of foreign company operating outside the United States;
  • The foreign worker has been employed by foreign entity as an executive, managerial, or essential worker employee for at least one year in the last three years; and,
  • The foreign worker is entering the United States in order to be employed as an executive, managerial or a specialized knowledge employee.

This visa may also be used by a multinational organization to send an executive or managerial employee(s) to open a new office of the multinational organization. To review how an executive or managerial employee under this L visa category may qualify to apply for an immigrant visa (or green card), please read: Lawful Permanent Residence or Green Card for International Executives or Managers.

Treaty investors (E-2) Visas

Allow investors who are nationals of certain countries to enter the United States to oversee their investment in the United States or to allow supervisory or specialized knowledge employees of a company which has invested in the United States and who are nationals of the same country to enter the United States to oversee the investment. The requirements of the E-2 visa are as follows:

  • There must be a Friendship Commerce and Navigation Treaty between the foreign country of which the foreign national is a citizen and the United States which allows for E-2 visas. A list of these countries can be found at footnote 4 in “Alphabet Soup of Nonimmigrant Employment Visas”.
  • The foreign company or the investor must have invested or be actively in the process of investing in the United States (generally through investment in the U.S. Company).
  • The Investment must be substantial and non-marginal.
    The Nationality of the owners of the U.S. Company and the foreign worker must be same.
  • The foreign worker must be entering the United States to develop and direct operations of the U.S. Company or as a key managerial, supervisory or essential employee.

Persons with extraordinary ability (O) Visas

Allow a U.S. Company to employ a foreign worker who has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics as demonstrated by international acclaim. These foreign workers must be one of a small percentage of persons who have reached the top of their respective fields. In addition to showing that the foreign worker meets the criteria of being of extraordinary ability, the U.S. Company must obtain a consultation from an appropriate labor union to confirm that the person meets those criteria.
Immigrant Visa

Religious workers (R) Visas

Allow a bona fide religious organization to bring in ministers, persons working in a religious vocation or persons working in a professional capacity in a religious occupation to provide such services in the United States. In recent years, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has requested extensive documentation from the religious organization and even conducted on-site investigations to prove to that it is a bona fide organization. The foreign religious worker must show that he/she has been a member of the same religious denomination for a period of at least 2 years.

Trainee visas (H-3) Visas

Religious organizations can apply for R visas that allow religious workers such as ministers, priests, nuns to work for their religious organization in the United States.

  • The foreign trainee is entering to engage in training program not available in home country;
  • The Training will not place the foreign trainee in position involving regular employment;
  • The Training will not involve productive employment unless incidental and necessary to the training; and,
  • The Training will benefit the foreign trainee in pursuing career abroad.
As described above, a more detailed description of the requirements of each of these visas can be found in “Alphabet Soup of Nonimmigrant Employment Visas”. Ms. Dye-Chiew can assist the U.S. Company, the foreign professional worker and/or the foreign entrepreneur in determining which nonimmigrant visa described above or immigrant visa best suits your needs in order to accomplish your immigration and career goals.
Kahbo Dye-Chiew

Contact a skilled immigration attorney in Honolulu and find out which visa category applies to you

Call 866-510-7082 or contact the firm online for assistance with immigration issues.