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I currently have an (Australians only) E-3 Visa in the US, can I launch and work for my own startup on the side by filing LCA?

Burlingame, CA |

The E-3 visa for Australians is somewhere between H1-B and the Canadian/Mexican TN visa. I have read that I can only technically/legally work for the company actually listed on the E-3 visa. In addition to my full-time day job (the company primarily sponsoring my visa), I want to both work with an existing start-up as well as found my own start-up within the next year, both as part-time. I have read that working for multiple other companies part-time is okay, as long as they file LCAs. I have also read that I can incorporate my own company, but cannot work without visa.
Does that mean I can work for the existing start-up if they simply file an LCA? (is it more complicated?)
If so, is there anything in the way of doing the same for founding my own company too? (Since still have my day job)

Attorney Answers 3


Simple answer: no

Complicated answer: perhaps ... but, only if an attorney prepares LOTS of papers and the start-up is incredibly well funded.

NOTE: No, you can't work for your own company.

PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.

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The boundaries of the program are the same as H1B. You cannot be self employed. The idea was to provide Australian with a way to work here without the need to go thorough the song and dance of the H1B numerical limitations. The treaty did not take into account the nonimmigrant intent issue because they believed most Australians will only want to work here and would be eager to return home after the job opportunity ends. In all other respects, its boundaries are identical with H1B as are those of the TN program by the way.

The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter,not should it be viewed as establishing an attorney client relationship of any kind.

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In light of the E3 restrictions with self employment, look into the E2. You can establish an umbrella company that may allow you to do all that you are wanting to do. However, you will have to invest in a new entity and you will need the help of an attorney(s) to set it up.

Due to the nature of this forum, Attorney Maria J. Marty does not have all the information required to provide legal advice. Accordingly, her responses on Avvo are intended as general and not legal advice.

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