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E-3 Australians

E-3 Certain Specialty Occupation Professionals from Australia

The E-3 classification applies only to nationals of Australia. You must be coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation. The specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of knowledge in professional fields and at least the attainment of a bachelor's degree, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 8 CFR 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(D), describes the kind and amount of experience which can be used to establish the equivalency of a university degree. As a guide, three years of professional experience may generally be used as a substitute for each year of university-level educatio. This means you would need to show 12 years experience in the field you are applying to work in. 

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for an E-3 visa, you must demonstrate that you:

  • Are a national of Australia
  • Have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States
  • Possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials
  • Will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation

What is a "Specialty Occupation"?

The definition of “specialty occupation” is one that requires:

- A theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge; and

- The attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

The USCIS rule regarding a specialty occupation highlights these elements:

  • theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge
  • minimum entry-level requirement of a bachelor's or higher degree in a specific occupational specialty
  • some fields with the requisite body of highly specialized knowledge include architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts

As a general rule of thumb, the following positions are deemed to be "specialty occupations" and qualify for H-1B and E-3 status (although careful consultation with Attorney Michael S. Cho is needed as exceptions always apply): Engineers; Accountants; Lawyers/Foreign Law Advisors; Scientists; Librarians; Psychologists; Financial Analysts; Systems Analysts/Engineers; Architects; Teachers/Professors; Journalists/Editors; Technical Publications Writers; Management Consultants; Market Research Analysts.

Applying for an E-3 Visa from Within the United States

Unlike the H-1B, the E-3 does not require adjudication from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) prior to the beneficiary applying for a visa at a US consulate. 

The Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker is used to apply for a change of status to obtain E-3 nonimmigrant temporary worker classification. 

Supporting Documents

Your Form I-129 must include the following documents:

  • A Labor Condition Application (LCA) which cannot be the same application used in a previous H-1B application.  Until the Department of Labor develops a new LCA for an E-3, the applicant should use the standard ETA-9035 and ask that it be annotated as an E-3 LCA
  • Academic or other credentials demonstrating qualifications for the position
  • Job offer letter or other documentation from the employer establishing that you will be engaged in a specialty occupation and that you will be paid the higher of the actual or prevailing wage
  • If required, before you may commence employment in the specialty occupation, you must have the necessary license or other official permission to practice in the specialty occupation

Applying for a Visa With a U.S. Embassy or Consulate

The employer in the United States is not required to submit a petition to USCIS as a prerequisite for the E3 visa. However, the employer must obtain a Labor Condition Application (LCA), from the department of labor.  There is no fee to submit the ETA9035.

You may make your appointment for an interview as soon as you have all the documents prepared. You do not need to send your documents in advance, just take them to the interview. There is no specific application form, applicants for all nonimmigrant visas must complete the same standard application form known as the DS-160.

In addition to the Electronic Visa Application Form DS-160, completed online (http://ceac.state.gov/genniv/) you may need to provide the following documentary evidence with your application for an E-3 Visa:

  • An approved Labor Condition Application (LCA), which the U.S. employer obtains from the Department of Labor. You are advised not to book an interview appointment until you have received this form.
  • Evidence of academic or other qualifying credentials as required under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 214(i)(1), and a job offer letter from the employer.
  • If your degree and higher-level qualifications are from an Australian institution, you do not usually need to provide certified copies or evidence of their U.S. equivalent, but please take to your visa interview a copy of any certificates, and if possible, transcripts for the course of study. If your qualification(s) are not from an Australian institution, a certified copy of the foreign degree and evidence that it is equivalent to the required U.S. degree could be used to satisfy the “qualifying credentials” requirement, but you may prefer to wait until your visa interview to confirm whether this is necessary. You should take a copy of any certificates and transcripts to your visa interview, and if it is also necessary to produce certified copies of certificates and evidence of U.S. equivalence, you can send these to the Consulate after the interview, although your visa will not be approved until this is received. Likewise, a certified copy of a U.S. baccalaureate or higher degree, as required by the specialty occupation, would meet the minimum evidentiary standard.
  • In the absence of an academic or other qualifying credential(s), evidence of education and experience that is equivalent to the required U.S. degree.
  • A certified copy of any required license or other official permission to practice the occupation in the state of intended employment if so required or, where licensure is not necessary to commence immediately the intended specialty occupation employment upon admission, evidence that the alien will be obtaining the required license within a reasonable time after admission

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

Initial Period of Stay 

Extension of Stay

2 years  Up to 2 years per extension; no maximum number of extensions, with some exceptions.

Change of Employment

Your new employer must file a new Labor Condition Application and a new E-3 visa application. The gap between the jobs must be 10 days or less.

Note: Form I-129 is used to apply for an extension of stay or change of employment. 

Family of E-3 Visa Holders

Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age are entitled to the same E-3 classification. Your spouse is entitled to work authorization, but not your children. To apply for work authorization as a spouse of an E-3 nonimmigrant, your spouse would file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

Why Choose the Law Offices of Michael S. Cho for your E-3 Visa

The Law Offices of Michael S. Cho has secured H-1B and E-3 visas for a wide variety of professionals with backgrounds in medicine, accounting, finance, marketing, languages, computer engineering, environmental engineering, education, health, sciences, business, graphic design, and other specialized fields.  We provide experienced and trusted legal counsel on the H-1B and E-3 visa process for both start-up companies and multinational corporations who rely on us to secure work authorization for their most valued employees.  We represent clients located throughout the United States and around the world.

All of our clients receive VIP treatment consisting of the following services:

Unlimited consultations with Attorney Michael S. Cho.
You always have access to an experienced attorney who will answer all of your questions from the moment your case is opened until your E-3 visa is secured.  We utilize the latest in secure technology to effectively represent our clients located throughout the U.S.  Video conferences are available with attorney Michael S. Cho so that all your questions can be answered in face-to-face meetings regardless of where you may be located.
24 hour / 7 day a week access to the Client Update Center.
All of our clients may request access to our online case management system, which allows them to monitor the status of their case as it progresses from filing to resolution. All important USCIS and Dept. of Labor correspondence and receipts are electronically scanned and can be made available to you confidentially through your own personal account so that you never lose track of important dates and information.
Instant digital access to every document in your legal case file.
Every single document you submit to us along with all USCIS and U.S. Department of Labor correspondence and receipts are electronically scanned and securely stored with our law firm as part of your digital case file.  This has proven invaluable for our clients located throughout the world who require instant access to critical documents before embassy interviews, USCIS appointments, and other important events.
Expert attorney preparation of your USCIS petition.
Your petition is personally prepared and reviewed by Attorney Michael S. Cho and meticulously checked for accuracy.  We try to make sure that EVERYTHING is done right the first time, so that you avoid unnecessary delays and USCIS or U.S. embassy denials. We help you gather all required Supporting Documents, complete all USCIS and Dept. of State forms, draft a thoroughly-researched legal memorandum when necessary, and submit everything in the most expeditious manner possible.
Constant monitoring and advocacy on your behalf.
Our work does not end with the submission of your petition. We keep tabs on your case as it is being processed, keeping you up to date on its status.  The vast majority of our clients encounter no delays or problems with their cases due to our experience and expertise.
Expert attorney guidance on meeting U.S. Department of Labor regulations.
The U.S. Department of Labor requires strict compliance by the employer with specific regulations that include posting requirements, documentary record-keeping, and labor attestations.  Failure to coomply with these regulations can result in serious penalties for the employer in the event of an inspection or audit.  We provide employers with everything needed to comply with these regulations and provide trusted legal counsel throughout the E-3 visa process.
Preparation for consular interviews.
Australians who are outside the United States will need to attend an interview at the U.S. embassy to obtain your E-3 visa after the labor condition application itself is approved in the United States.  We help you gather all supporting documents and can prepare the consular forms needed for your interview.  We firmly believe in providing our clients trusted and experienced legal representation from start to finish at a single affordable fee of $1500.  We will represent you from the moment you hire us until you receive your E-3 visa and safely arrive into the United States.
Continued immigration support.
We can continue to monitor your immigration status even after your case is resolved to ensure that you never fall out of legal immigration status. We try to inform you when additional filings or actions must be taken and handle everything in the same professional and expeditious manner as before.  We also advise you on the fastest route to obtain a green card should the employer be willing to sponsor the employee for U.S. permanent residence.


Testmonials from some of our current and past clients can be found on our new Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/michaelchoimmigration

You may also view client reviews for family-based immigration cases handled by Attorney Michael S. Cho (including I-601 waivers, I-212 waivers, fiance and marriage visas, adjustments of status, and removal of conditions) on our site for international couples at: http://www.smartimmigrationlawyer.com/michael-s-cho-immigration-lawyer-reviews.