E-3 for Australians
E-3 is a non-immigration visa for Australians, based on employment in the U.S. This visa type is “a good mixture of H-1B and E-2” as this article explains below.
Just like H-1B, this employment-based status requires the beneficiary to have a job offer from a U.S. employer for the position that qualifies as “specialty occupation.” Specialty occupation can be defined as an occupation that requires four year college education as a minimum requirement for entry. This requirement rules out positions that can be filled by applicants who do not have a four-year bachelor’s degree. In addition to that, the beneficiary should have a relevant bachelor’s degree to meet the E-3 requirements.
With regard to the application process, E-3 does not have any numeric limit, thus there is no random case selection we see in H-1B cases every year. This is a great benefit as it eliminates a huge uncertainty of whether you can even submit your application. For this reason, E-3 applicants can submit their application at any time of the year.
When approved, you will receive a 2-year E-3 visa. Upon your entry to the U.S., 2-year E-3 status will be granted from the date of entry. Like E-2, this 2-year E-3 status can be extended indefinitely, by 2-year increment, as long as you maintain the employment with a sponsoring employer. This is another huge benefit considering H-1B’s 6-year limit and very narrow scope of cases where the status can be extended beyond the 6 year.
For family members, spouses and children under the age of 21, they can get E-3 visa and a status the same as the principal E-3 workers. In addition, spouses of E-3s can work in the U.S. with any employer, based on their employment authorization, as spouses of E-2 investors enjoy this benefit. Recently CBP started to issue a new status for spouses of E visa holders that include employment authorization. After this change, the spouses who are admitted to the U.S. with this new status, do not need to file Form I-765 with USCIS to have an employment authorization card, as the employment authorization is automatically granted upon their entry to the U.S.
This E-3 status is not automatically connected to a green card, however, the same E-3 sponsor can also sponsor the E-3 worker for employment-based permanent residency often called EB PERM cases.