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E-3 visa for Australian Professional

Posted by attorney William Fong

Treaty Investment Visa

Established by the REAL ID Act of 2005, the E-3 nonimmigrant visa classification allows for the admission of a temporary worker who is national of Australia and is entering theU.S. to perform services in a “specialty occupation."

Note:The E-3 nonimmigrant visa classification should not be confused with the separate and independent H-1B nonimmigrant category for “specialty occupation" worker or with the E-1, Treaty Trader, or E-2, Treaty Investor categories; however, the E-3 visa category contains elements of these three nonimmigrant visa classifications.

Congress has established a yearly cap of 10,500 new E-3 workers. For purposes of the cap, “new E-3 workers" are those who, coming from abroad, are admitted initially in E-3 classification or those who change their nonimmigrant status to E-3 classification or change employers while in E-3 status.

Requirements and Eligibility

To qualify for E-3 classification, an alien must (1) be an Australian national who is seeking employment with a U.S. employer (2) in a specialty occupation requiring possession of a bachelor’s degree or higher (or its equivalent), and (3) possess the appropriate degree (or its equivalent) in the field in which the alien wishes to work.

E-3 nonimmigrant status is initially granted for a period of no more than two years. Extensions of stay may be granted indefinitely in increments not to exceed two years.

If the worker is outside the U.S. an E-3 visa may be issued from any U.S. consulate without first applying for petition approval through the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) Those nonimmigrant aliens who are already legally in the United States may apply to change their status to that of an E-3 specialty worker and, upon expiration, may apply to extend their stay in E-3 classification.

Work Authorization for Spouse

The spouses of E visa holders are allowed work authorization in the U.S. Spouses of E visa holders may file for a work authorization card with theCISServiceCenterand pay the applicable filing fees or they may now apply for a Social Security Card authorized for work as the spouse of an E visa holder.


Qualifications for positions in theUnited States vary by industry and by state. Check with your industry and states professional licensing bodies to determine eligibility requirements

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