An E-3 visa is a non-immigrant visa for Australian nationals that permits a U.S. company to hire workers in specialty occupations. The U.S. Company needs to file a Labor Condition Application (“LCA”) with the Department of Labor and the LCA needs to be certified before the worker can start working for the U.S. company. Foreign nationals sometimes get confused which document governs their stay in the U.S. and their work authorization – Is it the LCA, the E-3 visa in their passport, or the I-94 ?
You are an Australian national and you came to the U.S. on an E-3 visa in 2020. Your LCA and E-3 visa is about to expire but you are wondering until when you can stay/work in the U.S. and which document (LCA, E-3 visa, or I-94 ) governs your stay in the U.S.
- Your LCA expiration date is 12/1/2022
- The E-3 visa expiration date is 12/31/2022
- Your I-94 expires on 2/12/2023
Unfortunately, these LCA, E-3 visa, and I-94 dates are often confusingly different for E-3 visa holders. The reason why these 3 dates are often different is explained in our blog post here.
An important thing to keep in mind is that the LCA governs the period you are authorized to work in the U.S. and you cannot work in the U.S. past your LCA expiration date.
What can I do if I want to work in the U.S. past my LCA expiration date?
If you would like to stay in the U.S. and work past your LCA expiration day, then your U.S. employer will need to file a new LCA with the Department of Labor for a new 2-year period of time.
If both your I-94 and your LCA are expiring, and you want to stay in the U.S., then your U.S. employer will need to file a new LCA with the Department of Labor and an extension of status in the U.S. with USCIS.
Alternatively, the employer could file the LCA with the Department of Labor and you could apply for an E-3 visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad if you don’t mind travelling and if you can take time off from work. Once you have the visa you could come to the U.S. and start working for the US employer.
If your LCA is expiring soon and you wish to continue working for your employer in the U.S., you should speak with your employer and with an experienced immigration attorney to advise you on the best strategy so there is no gap in your employment status.
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