Basic requirements and general information
An E-3 visa is a visa category solely for Australians coming to the United States to work temporarily in a specialty occupation. It also applies to spouses and children of the E-3 visa holder, who need not be Australian citizens.
A specialty occupation is one that requires:
- A theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge.
- A bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty as a minimum entry into the occupation in the U.S.
E-3 applicants must be aware of and comply fully with the following:
- The E-3 visa is valid for a maximum period of 24 months; validity may be renewed.
- There is no separate filing or issuance fee.
- There is a maximum number of E-3 visas issued annually—10,500. Spouses and children of principal applicants do not count against the numerical limitation.
- E-3 status provides for entry on a non-permanent basis into the U.S. Similar to E-1 and E-2 visa applicants, the consular officer must be satisfied that the applicant intends to depart upon termination of status.
- To qualify for an E-3D (dependent) visa, the applicant must demonstrate to the consular officer that there is an established relationship, which can be accomplished with a marriage or birth certificate. The applicant must also show that they are the recipient of an E-3 visa.
- E-3 spouses are entitled to work in the U.S. and may apply for an Employment Authorization Document (form I-765) through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The spousal employment may be in a position other than a specialty occupation.
- E-3 applicants are admitted for a two-year period renewable indefinitely providing the applicant is able to demonstrate there is no intention to permanently remain or work in the U.S.
- The wait times at each consulate vary for the E-3 visa application process. Contact the nearest consulate to make an appointment.
E-3 application process
Western Michigan University departments interested in inviting an E-3 Treaty Alien in Specialty Occupation from Australia should contact the Western Michigan University immigration officer at (269) 387-5873 for more information.
To qualify for an E-3 visa, an applicant must demonstrate:
- That there is a legitimate offer of employment in the U.S.
- The position qualifies as specialty occupation employment.
- That they are an Australian citizen.
- The stay will be temporary (different from H-1B).
- The applicant has the necessary license or other official permission to practice in the specialty occupation before employment, if required.
E-3 applications require a three-step process, including amendments and extensions. In the case of positions that are represented, step No. 1 can be substituted by collective bargaining agreements.
- Immigration Services will obtain a prevailing wage in the field for the type of position from the U.S. Department of Labor. The E-3 employees must be paid at or above the prevailing wage determination, or the actual wage within the department or college, whichever is higher.
- The Department of Labor must certify a Labor Condition Application submitted by Immigration Compliance. On the LCA, Western Michigan University attests to the terms and conditions of employment and agrees to abide by the labor conditions listed.
- The prospective E-3 will make a visa appointment at the nearest U.S. consulate to obtain an E-3 visa and E-3D visas for dependents, if applicable.
Upon arriving in the U.S., the E-3 visa holder must make an appointment with Immigration Compliance for immigration check-in.
Visit the Forms page for the following forms.
- Change of Address Notification
- E-3 Actual Wage Worksheet
- E-3 Application Checklist
- E-3 Request Form—Part A (to be completed by hiring department)
- E-3 Request Form—Part B (to be completed by foreign national)
- E-3 Sample Position Description