As an Australian, you are incredibly lucky when it comes to traveling or moving to the US. Not only do we have a passport that gets us all over the world with very few issues, we also have a special connection to the US for professional workers (E3 visa), and travelers (ESTA visa waiver).
One thing to keep in mind throughout this whole process is to be very mindful of what you post, and what you ask, on social media.
Where to get your Visa
This question gets asked so many times. It is honestly the reason that I started this website because it was driving me bananas.
I have made a list of all the places that you can get your Visa, compiled from Facebook posts and community discussions with a brief summary of what people have said about them.
If you’d like to add to them, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting Your Visa
Please note. This section of the site is a work in progress so apologies for missing information.
- I am a professional with a Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent) who wants to work in the US (E3 Visa);
- I have extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics OR I’ve had extraordinary achievement in motion picture and television production (O1 Visa);
- I’m wanting to study in the US (F1/M1 Visas);
- I just want to visit as a tourist or do some Australian business in the US (ESTA or B1/B2 Visas);
- I’m not on this list (what the hell, Josh?).
Your Passport & Visa
Once you have your visa firmly secured inside your passport, you’re going to want to keep those in your hot little hands.
If you lose your passport, it’s not that easy to replace and you will in most cases have to repeat the whole process of getting a visa again.
Attorneys & Lawyers
In most if not all cases, having a lawyer or attorney on hand to help you out with your application is going to be essential.
I could repeat some of the information I’ve found but I am wary in case I recommend something that could get you into trouble.
I can recommend Doug Lightman from Lightman Immigration as one fantastic resource for all things immigration for Australians!
Aside from Lightman, use the Communities we’ve listed to find some good advice and get some great other referrals!
Costs for these services can vary significantly so be prepared to talk through your options with your lawyer and know exactly what you’re getting and for how much.
Many offices and businesses do pay for the immigration costs associated with moving you to the US so that is one topic that is worth discussing at some point.
Similar to the legal advice above, travel and/or Health Insurance are incredibly important when visiting or living in the US. The reason is that healthcare in this country is outrageously expensive and will send you quickly into debt if you are not ready for it. Users of various groups have recommended (listed randomly):
- Tin Leg
- Travel Guard
- World Nomads
Insurance is important and very personal, so be sure to read carefully what you are getting, for how much, and ensure that it includes the US specifically.
If you can provide some tips for Australians moving to the US, I would love to add more information about insurance. Please email email@example.com
I’ve put Green Cards right down here because if you’re looking at getting one, you probably already know most of this. But I know there are some questions that most people have so feel free to check out this page for more information and FAQ’s!
7th and 8th bullet points suggests 60 days.
– Stuart F. (May, 2017)
My old passport has already expired. My visa to travel to the United States is still valid but in my expired passport. Do I need to apply for a new visa with my new passport?
No. If your visa is still valid you can travel to the United States with your two passports, as long as the visa is valid, not damaged, and is the appropriate type of visa required for your principal purpose of travel. (Example: tourist visa, when your principal purpose of travel is tourism). Both passports (the valid and the expired one with the visa) should be from the same country and type (Example: both Uruguayan regular passports, both official passports, etc.). When you arrive at the U.S. port-of-entry (POE, generally an airport or land border) the Customs and Border Protection Immigration Officer will check your visa in the old passport and if s/he decides to admit you into the United States they will stamp your new passport with an admission stamp along with the annotation “VIOPP” (visa in other passport). Do not try to remove the visa from your old passport and stick it into the new valid passport. If you do so, your visa will no longer be valid.