The E-3 visa is a special United States work visa reserved to citizens of Australia under the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement. Since 2005, it allows Australian workers to quickly obtain a US work permit similar to the H-1B with much more ease.
Differences with the H-1B visas
The application process for an E-3 is significantly quicker than with an H-1B. Unlike H-1B visas, E-3 visas have a much more generous annual quota, making it easier to obtain. Another advantage of the E-3 visa is that it is indefinitely renewable in two-year increments.
The E-3 visa is a sponsored visa. This means that the applicant must have a job offer in order to be able to apply for the visa.
Family of E-3 workers
Visas can be issued to the spouses and children of E-3 visa holders. They are not required to be of Australian citizenship, and their visas are not included in the yearly quota. Since De Facto and same-sex Civil Partnerships are not recognized by the US, a valid marriage certificate from the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages will be required for the spouse to qualify.
E-3 visa requirements
The E-3 visa is only available to Australian citizens and their spouses and children. The purpose of the visa is to allow the applicant to go to the United States for the purpose of working in a specialty occupation.
A specialty occupation is defined as one that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge.
- The applicant must have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specialty occupation
- The job offer will qualify only if it requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a specialty occupation.
There is no definitive list of occupations eligible for this visa. A way for applicants to determine whether they can apply is to check if their occupation might be considered a graduate specialty profession or to call us. You will be given a free assessment of your qualifications and learn what visa is best for you.
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