e-3 Visa FAQ
What visa should i be using while looking for employment?
The majority of Australians arrive in the U.S. on an ESTA (3-month validity) or after applying for a B-2 visa (6-month validity).
How do i explain the visa to PROSPECTIVE employers?
The E-3 visa is one of the most straightforward and least expensive U.S. visas to obtain. During my job search, I provided prospective employers with a summary of the E-3 visa process that emphasized the simplicity of the process and how little work is involved for the employer. You can purchase a copy of the summary below or on the Templates page.
Purchase a one-page PDF summary of the E-3 visa process to provide to prospective employers during your job search.
Note: The image shows a redacted sample version of the document. On payment you will be emailed a link to download the unredacted PDF document.
can i get an e-3 visa for part-time work?
Yes, provided your hourly wage is higher than the prevailing hourly wage for your speciality occupation.
can i get an e-3 visa for contract work (e.g. 3-6 months)?
Yes, but your visa will only be valid for the length of your contract engagement. If you are hired for a 12-month engagement, your visa will be valid for 12 months.
does my degree need to be from an australian university?
No. Provided it is a Bachelor’s Degree or higher, that should be sufficient.
Do I need a signed LCA before scheduling my visa interview?
No. A number of people schedule their visa interview before receiving their signed LCA. In the DS-160 application, select “no” on the LCA question and schedule your interview per the usual process. You can then bring the signed and approved LCA to your visa interview.
Some people have reported that they attended their interview without a signed LCA and that their visa was denied pending receipt of the signed LCA. On receipt, they provided the the LCA to the consulate and the visa was approved. The consulate held on to their passport during that period, so you cannot travel during that time.
CAn i bring a copy of the LCA to my visa interview?
You should bring the original. The Canberra embassy website states that a copy of the signed LCA is acceptable, but I took the original and suggest that you do the same where possible.
Does my passport need to be valid for 6 months beyond the period of my E-3 visa?
Visitors traveling to the United States are typically required to be in possession of passports that are valid for six months beyond the period of their intended stay in the United States. Citizens of certain countries, including Australia, are exempt from the six-month rule and need only have a passport valid for their intended period of stay. For that reason a number of people have successfully applied for E-3 visas despite their passport expiring within 6 months of the date their visa expires.
ARRIVING / working
When can i arrive in the U.s. after my visa is approved?
You can arrive in the U.S. up to 10 days before your employment start date.
how long do i have after my visa expires to leave the U.S.?
You can remain in the U.S. up to 10 days after your authorized period of stay ends.
Can i work for other companies / clients while on my e-3 visa?
No. You can only work for the company stated in your E-3 visa.
Can I travel outside the U.S. while on an E-3 visa?
Yes. There are no restrictions on travel. The E-3 is a multiple entry visa, which means you can leave and re-enter the U.S. multiple times during the length of the visa.
if my employment ends before my visa expires, how long do i have to leave the u.s.?
You have a 60-day grace period to leave the U.S. The grace period does not extend past the expiry of your visa validity period. If your visa expires within the 60-day grace period, it is important that you leave the U.S. before the visa expiry date.
Can i travel in and out of the country during the 60-day grace period?
You can travel out of the country but will need an ESTA or new visa to re-enter the country. The 60-day grace period only applies to people already admitted to the U.S. under a valid status, not to readmission.
If my e-3 visa is in an old passport, can i travel to the U.S. with my new passport?
Yes. People who have done this have taken both passports to the U.S. for review by a customs officer. The passports were both from the same country and of the same type. If approved, the new passport is stamped “VIOPP” (“visa in other passport”) and you will be admitted to enter the country. It is important that you do not remove your visa from the original passport as it will invalidate the visa.
RENEWAL / TRANSFER
if i change jobs, do i need to apply for a new e-3 or can i renew my current one?
You will need to apply for a new E-3 visa. This is easier and faster.
Can i transfer from the e-3 visa to a green card?
Yes. For more information, see here.