Australians may apply under the Australian – United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) to live and work in the United States. E-3 visas are exclusively for Australians and number 10,500 including spouses and children. Spouses of E-3s may work as well. Verification that the applicant’s salary meets or will meet a standard of parity with equivalent American workers is necessary. A Labor Condition Application must indicate and be approved by the Department of Labor that working conditions and wages will be equal to U.S. workers.
Unlike H-1B visas, there are rarely time restraints or caps issues with the H-3 visa.
This visa is for those Australians who qualify under specialty occupations, namely, who have worked in a field requiring a theoretical and practical application in a professional field and at least have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
Form-129 is required for those who are already in the United States but wish to change their classification to E-3 status. Also, you must submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA). This cannot be the same LCA application submitted for a prior specialty occupations visa application (e.g., DOD researcher and project worker, fashion designer, or any other H-1B classification).
To prove your educational qualifications, you must submit academic documents and a letter with your job offer. You may be required to also submit a license if your specialty occupation requires it.
Once your Form I-129 is approved, the USCIS will mail a Notice of Action/Approval, Form I-797 to your employer. Your employer will send you a copy the Form I-797 once it has been received. However, this approval does not mean you have been granted a visa. Once your Form I-129 is approved, you will need to obtain a visa from an American Embassy or consulate abroad.
You can stay in the United States for up to two years after you have obtained a class E-3 visa. You can renew your stay in increments of two years after that. Although there is no limit on how many times your visa can be extended, some exceptions may apply.
You must complete Form I-129 to apply for an E-3 classification extension. To apply for a change in your E-3 classification job, you will need to file for I-129. Your new employer will need to file a Labor Condition Application as well as a new E-3 visa application. Your new job must be started within 10 days after the termination of your previous job.
Oltarsh & Associates, P.C. can help you with your E-3 Australian Specialty Occupation Worker visa. It is crucial that you have an immigration lawyer on your side during this process due to all the possible legal complications. Call us today to schedule an appointment at (212) 944-9420.