How much is the fee for the E-3 visa?
At the time of this writing, the fee for an E-3 visa is $205 per applicant, including accompanying dependents. There is no fee to file the Labor Condition Application.
May I apply for the E-3 visa based on my work experience rather than my education?
Yes, at least theoretically. A good rule of thumb is that you can substitute three years of related work experience for every one year of college that you lack.
Do I have to seek work in the United States before I may apply for an E-3 visa?
You will need a firm job offer in the US, at no less than the prevailing wage, before you may commence the E-3 application process. Of course, entry to the US might not be required for you to obtain a job offer.
May I go to the United States to look for a new job and then apply for the E-3 visa after I find one?
Yes, with two caveats: (i) you cannot enter the US for job-hunting on an E-3 visa; you must find another basis to enter the United States (visa waiver, for example); and (ii) once you find a job at the prevailing wage or higher, you will need to leave the US to apply for a change of status at a US consulate or embassy abroad (which must be in Australia if this is your first E-3 application).
Who may apply for an E-3D (spouse and children) visa?
Your accompanying dependents must file separate applications and must pay separate fees. It is the same three-step process: i) paperwork (ii) fee payment and (iii) interview. Although approval of E-3D applications is routine; your application might be rejected if:
- You are relying on a common-law marriage. One possible scenario is where a gay partner is denied E-3D status because gay marriage is not legal in the jurisdiction where the couple lives.
- Your accompanying child is under 21 but already married.
How long before my start date can I enter the United States?
You may enter the US up to 10 days before your start date.
How long can I remain in the US after I finish my job?
You can remain in the US for up to 10 days after you finish your job. Any further delay could risk illegal presence in the United States unless you apply for a change of status. Speak with a qualified immigration lawyer if you are considering this option.
Can I apply for a green card while in E-3 status?
No, this will get you into trouble, since E-3 visas are not dual intent visas. In a worst-case scenario, it could even result in the cancellation of your E-3 status.
Is there a quota or cap for the E-3 visa?
Yes. E-3 visas are limited to 10,500 per fiscal year.