This is probably the most common question asked online and the one that seems to trip up every single person I speak to about it. On the face of it, it seems a lot easier to transfer an E3 visa to a new employer than leaving the country and having to go through the whole application process and interview again.

So is it true? Is it easier to transfer your E3 visa to a new employer? This is the real question you should be asking. So here’s the deal… Because it kinda depends.

How to transfer your E3 visa to a new employer

The honest truth is that yes, it can be done.

So that you can’t accuse me of hiding the facts, here’s how it’s done:

  1. Your new employer files an LCA, just like you did before.

Now, if you’re already in the US (because you’re working on your current E3 visa, for example) then you can file a petition in the US with a Service Center to transfer jobs. This would be using a document like an I-129.

So why is this a bad way to transfer my E3?

Number one, you don’t get a new visa in your passport!

What you’ve done is adjusted your status in the US to be valid with your new employer, and that is great in the short term but it means you can’t re-enter the United States beyond the visa date in your passport.

You’re stuck in the U.S!

Secondly, it takes forever and they look much more closely into every single little thing:

This route is less often undertaken because it could take approximately 2-4 months for the petition to be reviewed (premium processing is unavailable for E-3 visa petitions) and is typically scrutinized much more heavily than an application presented at a Consulate.

You’ve also got a limited amount of time to do all this:

Transferring to a new employer may be problematic if your original employment ended and you remained in the U.S. beyond the duration of the grace period.

More recently, USCIS introduced premium processing to the E-3 which relieves this issue but comes with a cost. There’s more about premium processing just here.

What should you do instead to transfer your E3 visa to a new employer?

You should leave the country and apply for a “New” E3 just like you did the first time! It’s quick, it’s easy, and you can get up to two more years to enter the US as many times as you’d like.

You can apply inside or outside Australia, and you can see a list of reviews of locations to get your new E3 visa here.

You do the whole process from scratch exactly like the first time except this time you tick the box that says “Yes” you’ve had a visa before on your DS-160.

Don’t be silly. Do it this way.