The 10 Steps To Your E3 or H1B Visa and Work

OK i just wanted to do a quick note on the outline of getting your visa so it is an easy reference post with not too much fluff for people so they get an overview. I am not sure either if there are exactly 10 steps but it sounds like a nice round number so lets start writing and see how many major steps there are.

Step 1. Find An Employer (Visa Sponsor) – without going into too much detail as I will ina later post my favourite sites include, and for searching

Step 2. Have The Employer Fill Out The Sponsorship Document and Pay The Relavent Filing Fees – I guess technically you could do this on their behalf and pay for it and then have them send it but chances if it is a reputable employer they will do it all probably via their attorneys. For H1B this requires filing to both US Immigration and Department of Labor and for E3 just Department of Labor.

Step 3. Understand Your Dates – For E3 this is relatively simple as the forms can be filed all year around and although their is an annual quota it has never been reached and you can begin employment at any time. As for H1B this is more complicated as there is annual filing date of April 1 and hard quotas as well. Even if you get your approval and your visa from the consulate you cannot begin employment until October 1 that year.

Step 4, Make you Interview – When you have or anticipate to have all your documents both from your employer and the ones you have to prepare yourself along with fees, photos and other proof documents ready then book an interview with your closed US consulate that can process that type of visa. Every country and sometimes city has different wait times, methods of interview, turnaround times, etc. so be prepared

Step 5. Book Your Ticket – Depending on how brave and confident you are, you could have done this earlier on in anticipation of getting your visa but in any case I will put it here. Be prepared at your port of entry into the US especially if you have an E3 visa (as it is largely unheard of even by Immigration staff at the border) to answer potential questions. Don’t worry if you have all in order you will be fine, although it may seem tense depending on the person you get. I have had both awesome and not so good people.

Step 6. Get A Social Security Number – This is essentially your key to living in the US and is vital from everything to opening a bank account, getting a mobile phone, credit cards, signing a lease, potentially getting paid…although with a lot of these things technically it is not required but you have to do a lot of talking to superiors and no what you are talking about (I will discuss this in a later post). You can only do this from within the country and it can take up to 6 weeks for them to send you your card and number but usually it is 2-4 weeks.

Step 7. Start Work!!

Well what do you know I guess it was only 7 steps…and like I said there is more detail and tips to the steps above which I will cover in the future as well as steps in between like finding a place to live, best phone plans, discounts, etc. but this at least is a high level overview of your journey.

Bon Voyage 🙂


10 thoughts on “The 10 Steps To Your E3 or H1B Visa and Work

  1. Hi,
    I was wondering if I could get an E3 sponsor from 2 employers?? Is it something possible to do and how does it work. I have currently a sponsor, How can I have another one so that I could still work while transfer and also have the flexibility to
    work with two employers which will really improve my situation. Are there any downsides or concerns.


  2. Hi OzinUS,
    You can get work for 2 employers on the E3 visa they just need to each file form ETA-9035(e) with the Department of Labor to get the LCA. Basically it will just have to be proven that you can satisfy proper employment with both. To be approved for a 2nd employer while you still are and will continue to work at an initial employer sponsor is a real grey area. My guess is that you would have to leave the US and get issued with a new visa for that to be valid or have an application with the USCI within the US approved to allow that to happen.
    Good Luck,

  3. Hello,

    I’m holding E3 and working for an employer. If I change position (and job title) while working with the same employer, does my employer need to change anything about E3 or notify USCIS of this position change?


  4. Hi HR,
    Generally not as many people within their 2 year move up and around the organizations they are within. It really only becomes an issue, if it is a change of primary job location or complete say vertical change (i.e. Finance to Computer Programming). When you do your e3 visa renewal then you can put your new role on that ETA-9035 you file with the Department of Labor.

  5. I’m an Australian with a BA degree. I found a job offer for someone to watch and maintain a company’s assets. Do you think I could apply for this job or do I need a more specific degree/specialization in order to apply for something like this?

  6. Can I apply for the E3 visa from Tokyo? I’m worried I’m going to have to fly home to Australia.

  7. Hello,
    Me and another friend who are both Australian citizens are looking to get the E-3. We are both skydiving instructors. There isn’t much information about our field but for our qualification in the sport it takes lots of training and years within the industry. We are both jumping in Mexico at the moment and are here until April. We have an employer in the US willing. I’m just wondering when we make our case about our positions.
    Thank you,

  8. sorry another thing, we also have a b-2 visa but we are living in mexico. Whats the process from here?

  9. Jarrad in both your cases, the job itself as well as yourselves have to pass the Specialty Occupation and Bachelor’s Degree equivalency conditions to be considered eligible for the E-3 Visa. You can read about that here; Then beyond that you would have to pass the prevailing wage condition which you can read about here; In theory the only extra thing the B-2 visa allows you to do if transfer to an E-3 visa if eligible and approved within the US. In general that process takes longer and has more direct visa cost attached than doing it outside the US plus you would need to do a visa outside the US if you ever traveled outside the country anyway.

  10. Hi,

    I am a registered nurse in Australia wanting to work in the US using the E3 visa. Say if I get lucky to find a sponsor of my visa, do I really have to stay with them for 2 years? What if I decide to leave before that period and have my visa changed to let’s say an F1 student visa to do a Masters program? Will I have to pay them out for not finishing the contract? Hope you can shed some light on this. Ta.

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