E3 Visas – Visa for Australians Moving to America in 2021

For Australians, the E3 visa is a truly incredible visa. It allows an Australian to move to the United States with the right to work with an employer, without too much work at all.

There is a lot that you need to know in order to get the E3 visa though, so be sure to read all the information carefully!

Official E3 Information

Official pages are always the best, click here to go to USCIS.

For professional assistance, I recommend Doug Lightman from Lightman Immigration or Tara Gray from Tara Gray Law or Zjantelle Cammisa Markel from Cammisa Markel

Wondering about a particular location to get or renew your E3 visa? Check out our regularly updated list of Visa Locations!

Coronavirus & E3 Visas

Right now the information is updating so quickly that we’re keeping everything regarding E3 Visas during the Coronavirus Pandemic on one page.

We have fantastic information from immigration lawyers, tax consultants, health advisors, and more.

It’s important that you continue to check back to the page often and keep informed by following America Josh on social media.

What you require to get your E3

My friend and contributor, Alex, has written a fantastic step-by-step guide to her getting the E-3 which details quite a bit of the process. It’s worth a read!

In a VERY short sentence: You need to show that you have a Bachelor’s Degree, and that you have been offered a job that requires that Bachelor’s Degree and pays above the “prevailing wage” for that job.

While this sounds easy, there are quite a few steps and it’s important that you take care while doing this (see my below note on lawyers).

The advice below is for reference so that you know all the ins and outs of what is required but is not a recommendation that you should go in alone. Like any legal issue, there are elements that are confusing, complicated or specific to your situation and an immigration lawyer is the best person to help you with all of it.

Here’s the most important bit: If you are rejected for a visa, and you didn’t have a lawyer for the process, it can be INCREDIBLY difficult to get a visa in the future. A rejection looks very bad, and will only make your life more difficult if you really want to move to the US. So do it right the first time, seek professional legal help, and do it properly.

That all being said, here are some great resources so that you are across what is required and you can take the appropriate information to a lawyer.

Most importantly though, this is the OFFICIAL page from USTravelDocs.com.

How to explain the E3 Visa to Potential Employers

Christian Thurston from G’day SF has written an awesome piece about how to explain the E3 Visa with an infographic and all. There’s no point my reinventing the wheel, just check that out below. https://gdaysf.com/e3-visa

Advance.org also has a great lot of information about the subject of telling your employers.

Degree Equivalency for E3 Visa

The requirement to move to the US with an E3 is to hold the equivalent of a 4 Year Bachelor Degree (or greater). In some cases you may be told to seek equivalency from an evaluation company in order to prove this (or at the very least, use it as a precaution). As a general rule of thumb, three years work equates to one year of education (who knows how that rule was come to).

I did mine through Silvergate Evaluations who turned out to be great. You send them everything you have, and they will reply with options on who can write your equivalency statement from a University or College in the US. Prices will vary but at the very least you’ll be looking around $250USD for the full document.

Starting your own company

This is really important and I get asked this question a lot. See a lawyer.

Frequently Asked Questions about E3 Visas

Do I need an original for my interview?

Yes, you need to print out your Certified LCA (it says Certified in the bottom left corner) and have it signed by the person who is detailed in the document. You must take that version to your interview and they will keep it at the end.

ETA FORM 9035e (LCA): Trying to work out whether the “employer point of contact (d) is the same as the person who signs the declaration of employer (e) at the end?”

It appears that they CAN be the same person but they need not necessarily be the same person. The person who signs that declaration of employer must have the authority to enter into binding contracts on behalf of the company (i.e. an officer of the business entity). The person listed as the employer point of contact is just the person with whom the agency (USCIS) can communicate about the application.
– Shane H. (June, 2017)

Does anyone know if there are restrictions to travelling overseas to Europe while I’m an E3 visa here in the USA?

No restrictions. The E3 is a multiple entry visa.

Does anyone know if having a Visa in my old passport can be used to re-enter the US if I carry the expired passport and my renewed passport through customs? 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.

When providing the ‘last 5 visits’ on your E3 application, do you have to list all your entries into the US including short holiday trips out of the US?

I would suggest using the https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/ website for last entrances, which includes most if not all. Always be as honest as possible and you can’t go wrong.

How do I change my current address on my E3 paperwork? Any ideas?

This is a very important step and can be found on the Form A-11

Can I already book my appointment at the US embassy before the LCA has been approved (it was just filed)?

Yes, you can! I effectively did this. To get your appointment you need a DS-160, and the DS-160 includes a question (that you can leave blank re: LCA). So you can fill the DS-160 in, leave it blank, book an appointment with your confirmed DS-160 number. Then when your LCA gets approved, file a new DS-160, now including your approved LCA number, and then contact the embassy you’re going to and ask to update your DS-160 (because “you needed to update the LCA details”). They should be completely fine with it and away you go. Mine was in Sydney, but I’ve heard the same reflected by others.
Just to note: It is a bit of a gamble (e.g. if your LCA isn’t approved), obviously, and may not be strictly “recommended”. So this is just my personal experience.

I am currently in NYC on an E-3, but have changed jobs so about to leave to process my second E-3. I’m changing employers so it will be my first with the new employer. Is this considered a renewal? Receiving some conflicting information.

Nah you need a new one. Transfers take nearly 3 months to do.
Easier to do a whole new process
I did the same thing last year and it was considered a new E3

I am currently in NYC on an E-3, but have changed jobs so about to leave to process my second E-3. I’m changing employers so it will be my first with the new employer. Is this considered a renewal? Receiving some conflicting information.

Nope – no need

Can you get an E3 for a part-time role (say 3-4 days a week)?

I worked on an E-3 part-time for a year. it is totally permissible. no-one even asked about it in my interview. applied for the E-3 with an hourly wage (as opposed to annual wage) that was over the earning threshold for my profession.

Can you freelance for clients outside of the part-time role (ie. for other clients not connected directly to the E3?)

No. You can only work for the company specifically outlined in your E3 Visa.

Does anyone know if the E3 Visa in my old passport can be used to re-enter the US if I carry the expired passport and my renewed passport through customs? 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.

Can you transition from an E-3 to a Green Card?

Yes, you can, there are two ways!

Does anyone know if it’s 10 days, 30 days, or 60 days after you stop working with your E3 employer?

It’s a combination. If you’re ending your visa before the length of time allocated on your visa, it’s 60 days. If you’ve finished the visa, then it’s 10 days. https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-publishes-final-rule-certain-employment-based-immigrant-and-nonimmigrant-visa-programs

Does anyone know if you can get an E3 visa on a 6 or 12 month contract role?

Yes, but your e-3 will only be valid for that long