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What is an E-3 and how can I apply?

By December 18, 2023H-1B and E-3 Visa
A business professional

Are you an Australian citizen? Does your job qualify as a specialty occupation? Do you hold a bachelor’s degree or higher? If so, you might be eligible for the E-3 visa.

The E-3 classification is available to Australian citizens that hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and have a job offer from a U.S. employer where the job they will perform is classified as a specialty occupation. You may be wondering, what does specialty occupation mean? Simply put, specialty occupation means that the position requires specialized knowledge gained by earning a bachelor’s degree or a higher degree, and in some cases requires licensure. A good example of a specialty occupation would be a Physician. It requires an advanced degree, many years of training, and you must be licensed.  It isn’t a field that just anyone can go into. It takes 7+ years of school and then depending on the type of residency program, it can take another 3-7 years of training.  This is not to say that your position must have the same rigorous requirements. There are many occupations that qualify as specialty occupations such as architecture, engineering, mathematics, sciences, education, business, accounting, and law.

If you qualify, you can apply for E-3 status in one of two ways. If you currently reside in the U.S. your employer or potential employer can file a petition with USCIS. Please note you may not begin working until the petition has been approved.  The E-3 petition can be used to change your status to E-3 as well as to extend your status when the time comes. If you do not reside in the U.S. your application must be processed by a U.S. Consulate.

Many find that the U.S. Consulate is faster and it also allows them to apply for their visa/travel document concurrently. One of the benefits of applying through the Consulate is that in many cases you can apply from your home country as well as other countries that are processing Third Country Nationals. Please note there is not a set list of Consulates that you can apply at. Locations periodically will start or stop processing Third Country Nationals with little or no warning.

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