Australians are very lucky when it comes to wanting to live and work in the U.S. The E3 visa allows Australians, exclusively, the ability to move to America after being offered a job! There’s no lottery, there are no long and difficult forms to fill in, instead, you have to just find a job in a specialty occupation, be Australian, and apply!
Doug Lightman of Lightman Law Firm, as part of my Learning with New Friends series, helps us find out whether you qualify for an E3 visa!
Josh: Zebras are allowed to apply for the E3 visa as long as they’re Australians. False. Hi I’m American Josh and this is Learning With New Friends. So the big one that we all know about is the E3 visa.
Doug: Never heard of it yet.
Josh: Well it was lovely to meet you. So the E3 visa as I understand it is a visa that is available to effectively all Australians within some guidelines. It’s for people that already have a job offer in the United States and they come to you and say and say I’ve already got a job offer and I know that I have this access to this special visa. They arrive at your doorstep. Is that something where you can then take over from there and help out?
Doug: Yeah I mean usually what I’ll do is I’ll gather some basic information about the individual and the job offer and the employer things like an overview of the employer. What they’re about, what they do, where the location of employment is, job title, occupation duties.
Is any job appropriate for an E3 visa?
Doug: Well it can’t be any job. It has to be a job that qualifies as a Specialty Occupation.
Josh: So step number one be Australian, so a citizen of Australia.
Doug: Citizen. All you have to do is be a citizen. You could be born in another country and change citizenship in Australia and that still counts. You can hold citizenship of multiple countries as long as you’re a citizen of Australia.
Josh: Beautiful. So then you need an offer from somewhere in the United States for a specialty position
Doug: Specialty Occupation.
Josh: And that’s something they can check with you to find out if it’s special enough.
Doug: Right. So a Specialty Occupation is an occupation that normally requires at a minimum a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a specific field or a related field is an entry into the position. Only works for roles that you could identify as normally requiring a specific or limited number of bachelor degrees. Typical roles are roles in the tech sector that require computer science information technology. Media related roles that might require a degree in public relations or communications, finance or accounting.
Josh: So all those professional positions. Obviously, if you’ve come over here with that kind of offer you’re at a relatively mid-senior position if it requires a Bachelor’s degree
Doug: It could be entry-level. Sometimes people say hey I want to work as a store manager. Could we make it work? Yeah, I’m sure we could make it work. But that’s not typically a role that requires a specific Bachelor’s degree
Josh: So Australian, a job that requires a bachelor’s degree. I assume that you have to have that Bachelor’s degree in your hands.
Doug: Well you actually don’t have to have that Bachelor’s degree in your hands. If you don’t have a Bachelor’s degree and you do have work experience you might be able to have your work experience or a combination of whatever education you have, unfinished bachelor degree-level education and work experience evaluated by an evaluation company and deemed equivalent to a US Bachelor’s degree.
Josh: So normally as a bit of a guide if I want to get an E3 visa and haven’t got a Bachelor’s degree how many years of work experience would I need? Everyone’s different.
Doug: For every missing year of Bachelor degree study you need 3 years of full-time experience in a role that’s related to the degree you’re trying to obtain. If you have 3 years of full-time experience as a lifeguard and you’re trying to qualify for a role in an accounting or finance those 3 years aren’t going to help you out.