How To Explain The E3 Visa To A Potential Employer?

If you are new to the world of the E3 visa or only just beginning to embark upon the idea of living and working in the US and finding a job then this question may puzzle you a little.

As you will no doubt find soon enough and as both all those who are well into their US job search know as well as the lucky ones who have successfully found and been sponsored for a position, it is a question you will have to address at some point if you want success.

I have discussed in numerous other posts and will continue to again talk about the challenges of finding a position all visa holders but the Australian E3 aspirants do have a unique case. To note the E3 Visa only applies to Australian Citizens as a follow on part of the Australian-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA).
Your challenges in finding a position is not only to find an employer willing to hire you but one willing to sponsor you as well. As in the US System you must have a job lined up prior to arriving in the US unlike many other working visas for other countries.

Now the Australian looking for sponsorship under the E3 class is no different in this regard, except that they do have many advantages and a couple of challenges compared to the other visa class aspirants. The good news is that the challenges can all be addressed by you simply and the benefits are very helpful to employers compared to other visas.


  • Potentially no cost to the employer as the only form they have to file is a Labor Condition Application (LCA) on form 9035/9035E to the Department of Labor (DOL). It is no cost to file this form and approval can be received very quickly in a matter of a few days or less. This form is also very short and simple to fill out
  • This application can be made at any time of the year and your able to commence work at any time of the year
  • Your visa rolls potentially rollsover indefinitely** With the H1B visa, the costs are heavy for filing a petition, you can only do it at certain times of the year and you can only commence work at a certain time each year.


  • The E3 is virtually unknown by employers, many Immigration attorneys and even people who work for the Immigration Departments in the US
  • Employers may assume it is like H1B and thus costly and with many conditions attached to filing

As you can maybe gather from reading the challenges, they could be overcome easily if you have a ready and confident explanation at hand.

There are many ways to approach this as well as times to bring it up as I have discussed in other posts. I think I will leave the a long discussion into the timing issue for other posts as it a talking point unto itself.
Many people believe you can bring this up later in the Interview process and be successful by not eliminating many employers at the beginning. I am of the school of belief and practiced the approach of being upfront with a short paragraph in my cover letter so it was there upfront. I did this so I could not be accused of hiding anything nor cause heartache at the endĀ  by being disqualified after going through a long process just because someone was reluctant to sponsor. (in future posts I will discuss the cover letter and resume for the US employer audience)

So leaving aside when you tell a potential employer, two of the most common approaches candidates use are to compare to 2 other visas, to highlight the positives and counter the challenges I raised above.

More employers are aware much more of the general H1B visa as well as the TN visa which is available for Canadian and Mexican professionals as part of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). It is the Canadian part of this visa I will focus on.

So when you are at the point of explaining sponsorship and the E3 visa take into account the employer will probably have pre-conceived notions about difficulty, long times and excessive cost or they may be completely clueless.

Assuming they are now sold on you as a candidate, mention that the E3 visa works a lot like the TN visa for Canadians in that there is no cost to the employer, it can be filed and approved quickly at any time (including online here) and is renewable indefinitely. Thus it works practically exactly like the H1B visa just without all the regulations, fixed dates and excessive costs. If the employer is truly sold on you already, this is usually music to their ears.

Point them to online and government resources if the are unsure but it tends not to be a difficult sell if they want you as a candidate. The challenge of making them love you as candidate of course where you need to shine too šŸ™‚

As a side note for Form 9035 in you send via regular mail or 9035E if you file electronically, you should note Form ETA 9035, at the top “E-3 – Australia – to be processed”, or markĀ ETA 9035E for E-3 Australia. Either form is acceptable.

Good Luck andĀ  I look forward to your comments as always….


115 thoughts on “How To Explain The E3 Visa To A Potential Employer?

  1. OMG…finally there is someone who can understand what we are talking about, when i’m asking about E3-visa i feel like i’m coming from other planet:)
    I’m an Australian citizen living in US,i came here since 4 months with an F2 visa, i have 5 years experience in accounting and finance in addition to my Master of business administration degree and i passed through two interview here in the united state and i easily got both offer but unfortunately none of them accept to provide me a sponsorship even that i informed than i will pay all the legal fees,
    i really need a job and i’m so qualified, motivated,clever and i need a job since we are in short of money since my husband is a student,
    i barely tried to find another employer that can sponsor me but here in Lafayette city, state of Louisiana i didn’t find any sponsor.
    i really feel down that here in such country…where you can find all what you want all what you need…. you cant find a way to be your own sponsor or to find anyway to
    change your status and to have your work permit…
    i’m ready to accept any job offer even it\s 1000 usd/month just if the employer is willing to sponsor me…
    any idea to solve this issue???

  2. Reem thanks for the kind words. There is a lot of information here about how you can go about finding a job, the types of employers and explaining the E-3 visa. It would be tougher in Louisiana than other states in terms of awareness but if your skills are demanded then sure. The Prevailing Wage is an important consideration ( and you can’t just be paid any salary but you can work part time which would reduce the mandatory minimum amount you must be paid. Being sponsored in the US is a tough journey for anyone so your situation is not unique at all but ultimately the best advice I can give is keep persevering and continue to read the posts and comments on the site.

  3. I am sponsored on an E-3 as a “Market Research Analyst” which is pretty much the lowest specialty occupation on the E-3 list. I am told by lawyers that applying for a change in company through the USCIS I am almost guaranteed to be denied given the low ranking role. Therefore even if I am to change employees (which I am hoping to do), I have to leave the US and go for the interview in either Canada, Mexico, Barbados or back to Australia.

    Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

  4. Hi there!
    I am a Registered Nurse from Australia, now licensed in Georgia State, trying to get a job to come in on the E3 visa! I have had a few interviews, but the problem is the visa! They say they don’t do sponsorship visas. I have tried to explain that it is sponsorship as in I need a job offer, but no green card, etc. Any advice to give??? I’m at a loss!!!!!!

  5. I have an interesting situation, I am on an E3 Visa. I have transferred from my original E3 employer to my new employer 6 weeks ago. I have just been informed by my new employer they didn’t in fact submit my LCA OR I-129. If they decide to dismiss me because it’s to hard to fill out the paper work, is that legal?

    Will they get in trouble for paying me for the 6 weeks without submitting the right paperwork?

    Who’s responsibility is it to submit the LCA and I-129?

    Can they still submit it even though it’s 6 weeks too late ?

    Thanks in advance!


  6. HI CJ,

    I am hoping to get sponsored by a theatre or film production company in New York and am wondering about the role/s I may be able to undertake. Are you limited to performing duties in one role only or if you are hired as, say a production assistant, would you be able to work in various capacities on the different productions that the company do. I have a BA in theatre and an MA in film and am hoping to work as a production assistant, actor, writer, assistant director.

    I am wondering what my ‘role’ would need to be/ be defined as in order to not be limited to performing one role.

    Is this possible?

    Thank you,



  7. Hi everyone,
    sorry to see so many upsetting stories when v are so much privileged to be auzz citizens n getting rejected.
    for all who wana work in USA, to start with, learn any IT course preferably QA, quality assurance which is also known as testing tools or testing in simple.
    it’s easy to learn and u can learn it in few hours. I bet u.
    people are in millions but till u don’t know, that it exist, u can’t do cz u are not aware of it.
    learn testing as mentioned here and get an Indian consultant to sponsor u, cz they charge a 30% of your salary each month which is a big income gain to get u there.
    simple as this.
    if u do this by any non Indian consultant, u may again see d same situation cz only Indian/desi consultant is renowned in USA for all these.
    don’t think n use your smart side of d Brain , but simply do or enquire, b4 u doubt on this and u know if I’m right .
    wish u good luck & I’m going to USA soon by this , as m a certified tester..mny of my pals r well settled long ago..

    wish u all a very good luck ..

    gday mates

  8. Hey there!

    This is an incredibly helpfull article!

    Im here in the US as an apprentice, Im owrking in fashion textiles (specifically as a machinist for a small menswear company) I dont have a degree as such, however I have worked in retail selling the clothes made by the company im apprenticing for. We also had a tailor shop of which I have a letter of reccomendation stating I worked for them for 3 years. Do you think I would qualify as a specific someone who my employer would benifit having as an employee??? Or would i be simply ruled out because I dont have enough experience?? I understand that there might have to be a slight play on words during the interview, however Im just wondering if its worth going through. Thanks again for the information. regards, George

  9. Hey Guys,
    We are looking for Australian Citizens, who want to work in U.S.A on E3 visa.

    Please let me know if anyone looking for Sponser as well as an Employer.

    Send me your resume at

  10. I have a question, and haven’t been able to locate the answer. This group seems very knowledgeable on the subject, so I thought I’d try.

    If as an organization, we use an attorney to file the paperwork and pick up all of the cost for the prospective candidate, does any/all of that cost need to be treated as income to the person?

  11. Hi Folks

    I just used this company…check it out, it worked perfect for me…saved me so much money in return flights. Now living in the States with an E3 visa I can transfer when I locate a job. Soooo Happy (pmglobalcorp)

  12. Hi there,
    Wondering if it’s okay to be on a temporary contract (rather than permanent) for the E3 visa?
    Can’t find this explicitly stated anywhere.

  13. It has been 7 years since I was on an E3 (currently in US on L1A and I-140 approved).

    I was told to only have a contract that does not go beyond the validity of the visa. Because the visa is not dual intent, USCIS needs to know that you will leave the country when the contract expires. After two years you can renew visa.

    I have to say, that at that time even the Customs officers had not seen this visa category when I came into the country and it was stressful entering the country.

  14. Hi CJ,

    Great article! I’ve just been offered a role and I am wondering if am I allowed to fill out the LCA myself on behalf of the company or does it need to be completed by a legal professional?

  15. Hi there,

    Just needed a bit of clarity if E3 is eligible for both contract and Full time roles? I am about to have a discussion with an employer but he needs to be explained about E3 process. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.