Visas: United States of America

The USA is one of the most popular international destinations for Australians expats to work and live.

The most popular working visa for Australians to enter the US is the E-3 visa, the product of a treaty between the United States and Australia. The E-3 non-immigrant visa allows for the admission of a temporary worker who is a national of Australia and is entering the US to work in a “specialty occupation”.

The facts: 

  • There are 10,500 E-3 Visas available to Australian nationals annually. 
  • You must be an Australian national (i.e. the holder of an Australian passport) in order to apply.
  • You must be coming to the US to perform services in a “specialty occupation” – meaning that the position requires a Bachelor’s degree in a particular field. You will need to show proof of your credentials by providing your degree certificate and transcript.
  • if you don’t hold a Bachelor’s degree (or your degree did not require four years of full time study as is the case in the US) you may still qualify for an E-3 visa on the basis of your other studies and/or professional work experience. For example, you can combine a three-year degree and evidence of three years of professional work experience to satisfy the education requirements for the position; this will satisfy the requirements of the E-3 visa.
  • You must have a US employer sponsor you for your E-3 visa.
  • Your employer will need to file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the US Department of Labor and get it approved. Your employer must provide you with a job offer letter (also usually prepared by the attorney on behalf of the employer).

Benefits of an E-3 visa: 

  • You may initially obtain two years’ stay in E-3 status. However, at the expiration of that stay, you may extend your E-3 visa status indefinitely in increments of two years at a time. You must at all times maintain non-immigrant intent, meaning the intention to leave the US at the end of your lawful period of stay.

For any inquires related to the E-3 or other visas available to Australians, Advance recommends to contact New York-based immigration firm Cammisa Markel, who are able to assist with everything from securing the job to completing the credential evaluation component of your E-3 application. Their services include: 

  • An initial consultation to cover issues including your qualifications and potential job offer/s.
  • Liaison to any potential employers on your behalf to explain the requirements of the E-3 visa in simple terms. 
  • Facilitation of offer letter and employer support letter (including details about your new title and salary), obtain an evaluation of your academic and/or work experience credentials on your behalf, and file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) on behalf of the employer. 
  • Assistance with the DS160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application), book an appointment at a US Consulate abroad, provide you with a packet complete with everything you will need for your interview, and prepare you for your interview.

This information is provided as a guide only. Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is correct at the time of writing, please consult the relevant authorities to verify the accuracy of the information provided and contact a qualified immigration attorney for legal advice about your specific situation.