E-3 Visa and Green Card Lawyers for Australian Workers

An E-3 visa lawyer assists individuals in obtaining a nonimmigrant visa to work in the United States under the E-3 visa program. The E-3 visa is a unique visa category that is exclusively available to citizens of Australia who have a job offer in the U.S. and possess the necessary qualifications and skills. E-3 visa lawyers are well-versed in the complex legal requirements and procedures involved in obtaining an E-3 visa and can provide expert guidance and support to ensure that their clients successfully navigate the visa application process. They can also advise clients on a range of related issues, such as employment law, immigration policy, and other relevant areas of law. Our lawyers help to bring numerous E-3 employment immigrants to the U.S. every year. We make the entire process seamless and quick, schedule a consultation, and unlock the full potential of hiring foreign workers for your business.

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E-3 Specialty Occupation Qualifications

In order to meet the qualifications for an E-3 visa you must prove that you are:

  • Are a national of Australia
  • Have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States
  • Possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials
  • Will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation

Applying from Within the United States

In order to apply for an E-3 visa from inside the U.S. you will need to complete Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, which is designed for a change of status to E-3 or an extension of stay in the E-3 category. The following supporting documents should accompany your Form I-129:

  • A Labor Condition Application (LCA) that indicates that it has been filed to support an E-3 classification
  • Academic or other credentials demonstrating qualifications for the position
  • Job offer letter or other documentation from the employer establishing that you will be engaged in a specialty occupation and that you will be paid the higher of the actual or prevailing wage
  • If required, before you may commence employment in the specialty occupation, you must have the necessary license or other official permission to practice in the specialty occupation

The initial period of stay is 2 years with an up to 2-year extension of stay (no maximum number of extensions with some exceptions).

How to Change Employers

In order to change employers while you’re in the U.S. the new employer need to obtain a certified LCA for the position you will be working in and also file Form I-129. Before you can begin working for the new employer, the Form I-129 petition must be approved. USCIS may consider you to be maintaining E-3 status, following cessation of employment, for up to 60 days during the period of petition validity (or other authorized validity period).

How to Chose the Best E-3 Visa Lawyer

Below are some key characteristics you should look for when choosing an E-3 lawyer.

  • Years of Experience and Specialization – Look for a lawyer who specializes in complex cases and has a proven track record of success.
  • Education and Credentials – Check the lawyer’s credentials, such as their education, professional memberships, and certifications.
  • Open and Upfront Communication – Your lawyer should be responsive to your questions and be able to keep you updated about your case.
  • Transparent Legal Fees – Look for lawyers that have transparent billing structures, and make sure you understand the costs involved.
  • Personal Approach – A good lawyer will offer a personalized approach and take the time to understand your unique situation and goals.

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Benefits for Families of E-3 Nonimmigrant Workers

The spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age of an E-3 nonimmigrant worker are entitled to E-3 dependent status. It is prohibited for children of E-3 workers to work in the United States.

The spouses of E-3 workers who hold valid E-3 or E-3S status are considered to have employment authorization incident to their status.

Evidence of employment authorization that can be presented to employers for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, include:

  1. An unexpired Form I-94 with a notation reflecting E-3S nonimmigrant status.
  2. Form I-94 (unexpired) with a notation reflecting E-3, E-3D, or E-3R nonimmigrant status (presented together with a notice from USCIS regarding the new admission code)
  3. Unexpired EAD.  Spouses of E-3 workers are not required to request employment authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, but may still file Form I-765, with fee, in order to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766 EAD)
  4. Expired EAD with additional documentation to show the EAD is automatically extended.

Who qualifies for an automatic extension? 

Some E spouses qualify for the automatic extension of the existing Form I-766 EAD if they filed a timely renewal of Form I-765 based on the same E nonimmigrant status and they have an unexpired Form I-94 showing their status as an E-3, E-3D, E-3R, or E-3S nonimmigrant.

Our Experience with E-3 Visas

The dedicated team of lawyers at VisaNation has extensive experience with obtaining E-3 visas for Australian professionals. We pride ourselves on outstanding service and exceptional client care. This is what our leading business immigration lawyer Shilpa Malik said about our E-3 services:

Our team’s goal is to empower and help our clients navigate the complexities of the immigration process. Helping our clients obtain an E-3 visa is not just about securing a legal status, but also about opening doors to new opportunities and experiences in the United States.

E-3 Visa Processing Time

The average processing time for an E-3 visa can vary depending on a number of factors, including the workload at the U.S. embassy or consulate where the visa is being processed, the completeness and accuracy of the application, and any additional security clearances that may be required. Generally, however, the processing time for an E-3 visa is relatively quick compared to other visa categories, with most applicants receiving a decision within a few weeks to a few months of submitting their application. It’s important to note that processing times can vary greatly depending on individual circumstances, so it’s always a good idea to consult with an immigration lawyer or qualified professional to ensure that you have the best chance of success when applying for an E-3 visa.

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Alternatives to E-3 Visa

Don’t meet the qualifications for an E-3 visa? You may have other options!

  • EB-1 Visa: This visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, as well as outstanding professors or researchers, and multinational executives or managers.
  • EB-2 Visa: This visa is for individuals with an advanced degree (beyond a U.S. bachelor’s degree) or who have significant competence in art, business, or science. Must also be approved by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Foreign Labor Certification Process.
  • EB-3 Visa: This visa is for skilled, professional, or “unskilled” workers. The EB-3 Green Card has less strict qualifying requirements, but there are more eligible applicants compared to EB-1 and EB-2 categories.
  • H-1B Visa: This visa is for skilled professionals with at least a bachelor’s degree in a field such as fields such as computer science, architecture, medicine, dentistry, engineering, accounting, etc. There are many benefits to having this type of visa including the fact that it’s dual intent, has a 3-year initial stay which can be extended, permits you to bring spouse/children and more.
  • L-1 Visa: This visa allows multinational companies to transfer executives, managers, and specialized knowledge employees to their U.S. offices. This visa has two subcategories- the L-1A for managers and executives, and the L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge.
  • O-1 Visa: This visa category is for individuals with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or those with demonstrated extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry.
  • TN Visa: This visa is for Canadian and Mexican citizens who are seeking temporary employment in the U.S. under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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Frequently Asked Questions 

Below you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions about E-3 visa:

Do I need a lawyer for E-3 visa?

It is highly advised to retain an attorney to apply for your E-3 visa. Not only does having a professional filing your case save you time and erroneous mistakes in the long run but they’re available to answer any pressing questions you may have during the process.

How much does it cost to sponsor an E-3 visa?

The overall cost of sponsoring an E-3 visa depends on the size of the sponsoring company and the location of the employee being sponsored but when applying for an E-3 visa through a U.S. consulate abroad, the cost is $205 USD (not including separate attorney fees). Note: On May 27, 2023 the E-3 Visa application fee will increase from $205 to $315 USD. If an Australian applicant is approved without the need for administrative processing, they can expect to receive their E-3 visa within 3-5 business days after attending their appointment and having the visa stamped in their passport. It’s important to note that processing times may vary depending on individual circumstances, so it’s always a good idea to consult with an immigration lawyer or qualified professional for guidance on the specific requirements and processing times for your E-3 visa application. Employers may also be responsible for paying the cost of any necessary background checks or medical examinations required for the employee to obtain the visa.

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Is premium processing available for the E-3 visa? 

Starting from February 24th, 2021, Premium Processing service is offered for individuals who are applying for a change or extension of status to E-3 classification through Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. While Premium Processing for E-3 Visas is not mandatory, it is an option that comes with an extra fee of $2,500 USD. Choosing this service guarantees that the government will respond to the petition within 15 days, which can be helpful for those who require a faster decision on their application.

Can E-3 visa apply for green card?

Yes, holders of the E-3 visa are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residency) if they meet the requirements for eligibility. However, the process for obtaining a green card can be complex and time-consuming, and there may be limitations on the types of green card categories that E-3 visa holders are eligible for. It’s important to consult with an immigration lawyer to determine the most appropriate pathway to permanent residency based on your individual circumstances.

What is E-3 to green card adjustment of status?

The E-3 to green card process can be done in the U.S. through an adjustment of status or from overseas via an immigrant visa route. The E-3 visa does not allow for immigrant intent. This means that when you apply for an E-3 visa or request entry to the U.S. in E-3 status at a port of entry, you cannot have the intention to apply for a green card in the U.S. through the adjustment of status route.

What is E-3 immigration status?

An E-3 visa is one exclusively available to citizens of Australia who have a job offer in the U.S. and possess the necessary qualifications and skills.

Cam Australian permanent residents be eligible to apply for the E-3 visa? 

No, Australian permanent residents are not eligible to apply for the E-3 visa. The E-3 visa is specifically designed for Australian citizens who wish to work in the United States. However, Australian permanent residents may be eligible for other types of work visas, such as the H-1B visa, depending on their qualifications and the requirements of their employer. It’s important to consult with an immigration lawyer or qualified professional to determine the most appropriate visa category for your individual circumstances.

How VisaNation Law Group’s E-3 Visa Lawyers Can Help

VisaNation Law Group’s visa lawyers offer extensive immigration consultation to persons interested in the E-3 and other work visas. They have helped thousands of individuals successfully work in the United States.