The E-3 visa is a temporary work visa that is reserved solely for Australian nationals who will be coming to the United States to work in a specialty occupation for a U.S. employer. At Nicolet Lawyers, our skilled immigration attorneys are highly experienced in helping Australians and Wisconsin employers complete this process quickly and successfully. Speak to Spiro Nicolet about the E-3 application and your prospects for using it to bring a non-citizen into the U.S.Eligibility Requirements for an E-3 Visa
In order to qualify for this immigration status, the foreign worker must be able to prove that he or she is an Australian national, typically by showing proof that he or she has an Australian passport. The employee also must demonstrate that he or she has a bona fide offer of temporary employment in the U.S., usually by providing a job offer letter, and show that his or her position will be a specialty occupation. This means a type of employment that requires at least the attainment of a Bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent in order to perform the position’s duties. Of course, since the job requires this level of education, the E-3 applicant must also possess a Bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent to qualify for the visa.The Application Process
There are two possible ways to apply for an E-3 visa: from outside the U.S., using a procedure called consular processing, or from within the U.S., using a procedure called change of status.
If you are outside the U.S. and wish to apply for an E-3 visa, you should contact the U.S. embassy in Australia to schedule your visa appointment. At the appointment, you should show your job offer letter from your American employer. The letter should confirm the terms and conditions of your employment, such as your job title, rate of pay, job duties, and worksite location. You should also bring your Australian passport and proof of your qualifications for the job offered to you, such as copies of your degree, transcripts, and professional license.
Importantly, you must also bring a copy of the Labor Condition Application (LCA), which your employer must file with the Department of Labor (DOL) before you attend your visa interview. The LCA informs the DOL about the E-3 employment, and it typically takes the DOL about five to seven days to certify that an LCA is acceptable. Therefore, it is wise to not schedule your visa interview until the DOL has certified the LCA for your case.
If you are already in the U.S. with a different immigration status, you will need to ask the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) to change your status to E-3. To do so, your employer must file a Form I-129 Petition with USCIS. The I-129 Petition will contain all of the documents that are needed for the consular processing as well as multiple forms and a filing fee.
Technically, there is a limit of 10,500 E-3 visas that may be approved every year, but this limit has never been reached. Also, the E-3 worker’s spouse and any unmarried children who are under the age of 21 can receive their own visas as dependents. Even better, E-3 spouses can obtain their own separate work authorizations in the U.S.Seek Advice from a Wisconsin Attorney on Your Immigration Options
The process of coming to the United States as a foreign worker can be lengthy and complicated. It is wise to reduce any difficulties or anxieties by consulting an immigration lawyer who is knowledgeable in obtaining employment visas for individuals coming to work for Wisconsin businesses. Spiro Nicolet and the staff at Nicolet Lawyers are familiar with the E-3 laws and regulations. Contact us at (773) 562-6884 or through our online form to set up an initial consultation.