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E-3 Visa

E-3 Visa, Australian Specialty Occupation Program

For some unexplained reason America loves Australians and Australia loves Americans. Maybe it's our mutual sense of independence or the fact that we both kicked out the British Empire! Whatever the reason, our immigration system when dealing with the H-1B annual cap has carved out a special non-immigrant program to permit Australian citizen immigrants, in some instances, to ignore the annual H-1B cap for entries. This is the E-3 visa specialty occupation for Australians only. It parallels the standard EB-3 visa but with some significant modifications all as follows;

1. there is an annual cap of 10,500 visas separate from the H-1B cap,

2. it does not have a 6 year limitation,

3. spouses can apply for an Employment Authorization Document,

4. spouse and children need not be Australian citizens,

5. the automatic 240 day extension rule does not apply,

6. the maximum validity is 24 months 7 cannot exceed the validity of the Labor Condition Application (LCA),

7. the E-3 visa can be renewed indefinitely,

8. no Premium Processing is available,

9. the applicant must have a legitimate offer of employment in the U.S.,

10. stateside licensure is required if the specialty occupation job requires it as a condition of employment,

11. a "specialty occupation" is generally an occupation which requires a bachelor's or higher degree in a specific specialty , such as a physician, teacher, engineer, accountant, computer programmer, etc.,

12. intent must be to leave the U.S. upon termination of employment,

13. the employer must first have procured an approved Labor condition application,

14. new employers require a new (LCA),

The employer must first get an approved (LCA) using the standard form ETA 9035. Then, this approval with a job offer letter, proofs of the applicants credentials and a USCIS form I-129 with accompanying documentation, biometrics and all required filing fees must be processed. If then, currently residing outside the U.S., a USCIS form I-797 Notice of Action/Approval will be sent to the Employer who will forward to the employee who must go to the appropriate U.S. embassy or Consulate for consular processing to get an entry visa. Remember, "with immigration, nothing is as simple as it first appears"℠.

Our attorneys can answer your questions and help you process this visa. Contact us today!

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