The E-3 visa is a United States visa available only to Australian nationals. The E-3 “Australian Special Occupation” visa category allows individuals to enter the U.S. “solely to perform services in a specialty occupation in the United States if the alien is a national of the Commonwealth of Australia,” and if he/she files a labor attestation under INA Section 212(t). The E-3 visa allows the visa holder to work in the United States in a specialty occupation without restriction.

The E-3 visa provides many benefits. The application process for E-3 visas is generally faster than the process for other non-immigrant visas. While similar to H-1B visas and H-1B1s, the E-3 category has different benefits and requirements. E-3 applicants must file the same Labor Condition Application (LCA) as the one used for H-1B visas and H-1B1s. Those granted an E-3 visa are admitted for a period not to exceed the validity of a LCA, and the term of admission ordinarily granted is for 2 years. E-3 visas can be renewed indefinitely in two-year increments, not to exceed the term of validity for an LCA.

Australian citizens applying for an E-3 visa are not subject to the 65,000 annual visa cap that applies to the issuance of H-1B visas. Instead, the E-3 category has its own separate quota, allowing for the issuance of up to 10,500 E-3 visas per fiscal year. The 10,500 E-3 visa cap does not apply to those seeking an E-3 extension if the applicant remains with the same employer that was named in the initial application. Spouses and children of E-3 visa holders receive the same E-3 classification; however, spouses and children of the principle are not subject to the 10,500 annual via cap and need not be Australian nationals.

The attorneys and staff at Gavlin & Associates, P.C. have extensive experience handling all types of immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. Please contact us to see how we can help you obtain immigration status in the U.S.