E-3 Australian professionals may come to the U.S. under the terms of a trade agreement with Australia, to perform work in a professional specialty occupation, i.e. a job for which a related bachelor’s degree is the normal minimum for entry-level employment, for which they have the appropriate educational credentials.
The U.S. employer must offer to pay the prevailing wage for the job, and must file a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor to affirm the wage offered. E-3 visas are granted for a period of two years, renewable in two year increments, but the worker has an ongoing obligation to demonstrate non-immigrant intent. Like the other E visas, no petition to USCIS by the employer is required: workers may apply for the visa directly at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If a worker does seek to extend stay or change jobs via a petition by the US employer, certain procedural perks common to other temporary visas were unavailable to E-3s, such as Premium processing, and continued work authorization based on a timely-filed extension by the same employer. For this reason, travel and application for a new E-3 visa at a U.S. Embassy abroad was often more expeditious. A recent amendment to the regulations gave E-3 professionals the same continued work authorization as other temporary workers for whom a timely extension of stay is filed, but to date they remain ineligible for Premium processing. This rule was published by USCIS on January 15, 2016, in a new Final Rule on H-1B1, E-3 & CW-1 workers and became effective as of February 16, 2016.
Looking for an E-3 visa attorney? Contact Karin Wolman today!