Australian citizens coming to the United States to work in specialty occupations are able to obtain work authorization under the special E-3 visa classification. In general, a specialty occupation is one that requires the attainment of bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. In some cases experience can be substituted for a degree. To be eligible for an E-3 visa, the applicant must be able to show:
- Proof of Australian citizenship;
- Offer of employment in the United States;
- Proof of necessary experience or academic degrees; and
- The position offered is a specialty occupation.
The E-3 visa offers many advantages to Australians that are not available to those in other visa categories. Some of these advantages include:
- Visa validity of up to 2 years.
- Extensions in 2 year increments with no maximum number of extensions. Most visa categories have a maximum number of years. As long as the criteria are met an Australian can extend an E-3 visa indefinitely.
- The spouse of an E-3 visa holder can obtain their own Employment Authorization to work in the United States subject to the validity of the E-3 visa.
- Although there is a numerical limit of 10,500 E-3 visas each year, the limit has never been met. This gives employers and employees that qualify under the E-3 visa program the flexibility of filing year round.
Our firm has experience with the E-3 visa application process. We assist Australian citizens and their employers with new E-3 visa applications, E-3 visa extensions, E-3 visa change of employer applications, and E-3 change of status applications. We are also able to assist with filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization on behalf of spouses of E-3 visa holders. Contact our experienced immigration attorneys today for a free assessment of your immigration options.