The E-3 nonimmigrant visa category provides Australian professionals a simple, convenient option for productive employment in the United States. The E-3 category, created in 2005, allows up to 10,500 Australian citizens annually to secure E-3 visas, a limitation that has never been close to exhaustion.
Australian citizens (either by birth or naturalization) are eligible to work temporarily in the U.S. in E-3 status for an employer who agrees to pay the employee the prevailing wage for the position offered, provided that the job is a specialty occupation – that is, one requiring at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
The prospective employee ultimately presents the E-3 paperwork at a U.S. consulate abroad and receives an E-3 visa. When presented before a U.S. immigration officer upon arrival in a U.S., the E-3 visa entitles the holder to two (2) years of authorized employment with the sponsoring employee. The employer may seek extensions of the E-3 employment after this period indefinitely, so long as required by business and so long as the employee can demonstrate the intent to return abroad after the temporary employment in the U.S. concludes.
The E-3 category also entitles spouses and children of the employee to accompany him or her with valid E-3D dependent visas. E-3D spouses may apply for U.S. work authorization as well upon their arrival in the U.S.