E-3 Australian Professional

Photo of Australian flag.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:

  1. A theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge.
  2. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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