Extending, Renewing or Changing Employers on Your E3 Visa

The E-3 Visa is interesting in that so much of it is undocumented fully related to change of employers, switch to permanent residency, the renewable indefinitely clause, being and working in the country legally while transfer is occurring with USCIS, etc.

However a common question we get asked is the process of renewal or extension of the E-3 Visa. To be honest, practically it seems like most people whether extended, renewing or changing employers just file a new application and get a new E-3 visa overseas. Many do it in Canada as it is close by.

The main reason being that it is more costly to apply for extension of your E-3 visa and the processing times for extension and change of employer that have to be done with USCIS and can potentially take many months. Generally it seems to take 4-8 weeks but even so that can present problems with your status in the meantime if you are not still employed.

Additionally if you have extended your visa or changed employers within the US and then leave the US to travel, you will have to go through the application for a new visa anyway to re-enter the country and thus pay all the consular costs. So it seems pointless given the short duration of the visa for 2 years to pay costs for extension only to have to pay the new visa application costs again.

There is no limit on the number of years an Australian national may hold E-3 status. Initial admission as an E-3 can be up to two years; extensions of stay are granted in up to two-year periods

E-3 beneficiaries may obtain a new period of E-3 admission at a U.S. consulate overseas, or may extend E-3 status by having their employer file an extension request with USCIS. Extension requests may be filed as early as six months before the current stay expires, and should be filed as far in advance of the E-3 expiration as possible.

As we said it is a grey area as to people E-3 status are permitted to continue working while the E-3 extension or change of employer application is processing if the current visa is expired.

Many at USCIS will tell you it works like H-1B which means you can as that is what visa the E-3 was modelled on and uses many of its terms and conditions except when specified otherwise. However others telly because it is not specifically writen anywhere this is not the case.

So your employer prepares a new Form ETA 9035 Labor Condition Application (LCA) if you are just going to do a new E-3 visa via a renewal or change employers and get a new visa.

If extending the stay through USCIS, your employer has to prepare a new Form ETA 9035 Labor Condition Application (LCA) and Form I-129. There are filing fees for the I-129 form.

USCIS sends Form I-797 Approval Notice to the employer or attorney of record as notification of the decision on the extension request.

I hope this best answers this weird part of the E-3 visa terms of operation and I wish you well in either your;
– renewal of your E-3 Visa
– extension of your E-3 Visa
– change of employer of your E-3 Visa



375 thoughts on “Extending, Renewing or Changing Employers on Your E3 Visa

  1. Hi there,

    I have a quick question.

    I just wanted to ask a quick question about my E3 visa.

    My visa is expiring on the 1st of April, 2015. I will be going back to
    Australia to renew it. I was just wondering whether I have to renew it
    *before* the 1st of April or if it’s ok to set up an appointment around the
    5th of April? Basically, I want to know whether it’s possible to renew my
    visa after (even though it’s just a few days) it has expired.

    I really appreciate your help!


  2. Hi – I am so confused about changing my employer. My current E3 visa is valid for another 1.5 years, but I have been offered a new, much better job. I have read that once the new LCA is approved I can start work at the new employer – without having to wait until the Form I-129 is approved. But some other websites are now saying that I can’t do this – I can’t expect the new employer to wait 6 months to hire me.

    As my current E3 is still valid, I won’t be leaving the country, and the new LCA will have been approved, can’t I just start at the new employer?

    I really need help as so many people have told me so many different things and I really don’t know what to do!!!

  3. I’m in the same boat as Lizzie Max … any assistance regarding the comment would be very helpful

  4. Hi,

    I’m in a similar position as Lizzie. I currently have a valid E3 but want to change to a new job. My prospective new employer is put off by the cost and time involved in changing employment on the E3, so it looks like the best approach is to apply for a new E3 visa.

    Am I right in believing that a new application should be no cost to the employer (unless they get a lawyer to do the paperwork)? Also, I have heard that Canada is not a very suitable option to get the visa processed due to wait time, have you heard of it being done easily in Iceland?


  5. Hi,

    I’ve read so many different responses from everywhere and it seems to be telling me different things. If i want to change employers, do you think, filling in a new LCA form and getting a new e3 would be the same thing and will be okay? and just the employer is a different from my current?

    thanks! all this visa readings are making me so confused! 🙁

  6. Hi everyone!
    I wondered if anyone has done the renewal process with a spouse? My husband has an e3 and I have a e3d and we are hoping we can both apply and turn up for an interview at the same time (we are planning to renew in Canada)? Just wondering if anyone had done this or even doing it the USCIS way?

  7. Hi cj,
    My e3 visa going to expire in nov2015 but due to family emergency we traveled to India in apr 15 while retiring border security officer issued i94 until mar 2017.my company not applied for extension .company lawyer told that miners a visa i94 is valid.we are planning to travel India in dec .while coming back we need a new visa.can apply the renewal of e3 visa in Canada.If so what is the processing time.

  8. Would your dependants have to come with you overseas if you need to do a change of employer? My situation is that my wife has an EAD and is currently working (E3D and EAD expire around April 2017). What would be the best way to do this without her EAD getting affected? ie if we all go overseas then we would get our E3 (and E3D) visas right away but would her current EAD get invalidated (applying for another one takes about 2-3 months 🙁 ).

    Alternatively is it possible for me to just go overseas myself for the E3 interview while my wife stays back in the US (this was actually recommended by the new employer’s lawyer)?

    Thanks in advance guys. This is such a pain!

  9. What are the employers obligations if they terminate your employment while you are here on an E-3 with your employer as sponsor? For the H1B, which the E-3 is largely modeled from, the employer is obligated to bear the cost of returning you to your home country, is this also true for the E-3?
    Thanks, Michael.

  10. Hi

    I am currently working on an E-3 and am starting to look into the renewal process. I can’t find any detailed information on what must be done to do this.

    If doing it overseas is it just filing a new LCA, booking an appointment at a consulate and that’s it? What other paperwork is required for the renewal process?


  11. Hi Tara, I am in the same state. My visa is getting expired on Dec 5th and first available date I got from consulate is December 7th. Did you face any issue during your renewal?

  12. Hi CJ!

    Your site is amazing, thank you so much for all you do to help everyone on here. I have used the site for many years, to pick up many excellent tips, but this is the first time I’ve had to contact you directly…

    I am currently working for a company under an E3 visa that expires on 23rd April 2016.

    I am going overseas (to Barbados) next week, and would like to renew/extend the visa while I’m there for another two years, as I don’t know the next time I’ll be able to get overseas. Consequently, I asked my employer to submit a new LCA for an additional two year extension last week – which has come back approved! 🙂

    However, I have a couple of concerns regarding visa dates :

    1. My employer thought that my current visa ran out right at the end of April – so they put the new visa ‘start date’ as May 1st, 2016 on the LCA. This is actually 8 days after my current visa runs out. Will this be a problem?

    2. I am now filling out the DS-160, and am not sure what I should put as the ‘intended date of arrival’. Do I put May 1st (the same as on the LCA), or April 24th (the day after my current visa expires), or December 18th (the date I intend to fly back into the US from Barbados with this new visa).

    I’d really appreciate your (urgent!) help as I’m flying out next week and really need to figure out the best way to handle it and get my DS-160 submitted asap.

    Thank you so much!!


  13. This site is truly amazing! Thank you for the incredible service you provide here! One quick question. My E-3 visa just expired last week on November 25th, 2015. I am not planning to extend it or return to work in the US. However, I am hoping to come back as tourist. I have been informed by a friend that I have 2 weeks grace period in which to depart the US (and I am hoping to to leave tomorrow – November 4th, 2015). Is this information accurate? Also, can i go to a neibouring country (like Mexico) and return on a tourist visa?
    Thank you and God bless you 🙂

  14. I have a question for KM – how did you go with your renewal in Barbados? Did it all run smoothly?

  15. Hello KM, Did you get your visa renewal on time, Did you apply for a new LCA . Our lawyers screwed up our LCA dates and we have to re submit our application as per their knowledge. Please help us by responding to this post.

  16. Would your dependents have to come with you overseas if you need to do a change of employer? My situation is that my wife and kids are on E3D expiring around Feb 2017. What would be the best way to do this i.e. if we all go overseas then we would get our E3 (and E3D) visas right away or file with USCIS that can take up to 3-6 months.

    Alternatively is it possible for me to just go overseas myself for the E3 interview while my wife stays back in the US (this was actually recommended by the new employer’s lawyer)?

    Also should this be done in Australia or can I get this done in Canada?

    Thanks in advance guys.

  17. I am in same renewal process as Supra. I think the lawyer’s suggestion is wrong, when you renew your visa, automatically dependents’s E3D becomes invalid after changing employer. I am thinking of renewing all at once

  18. Hi – I have a bit of a different situation. I am currently on an E3 visa and working full time for a company. This visa expires in August. I want to apply for an E3-Dependent and go on my husband’s visa. I want to do this because in September I want to leave my job for maternity leave. As I need to apply for a work permit after the E3D is approved (this can take up to 3 months and not sure I can work during this time) I was wondering if my current E3 visa will become invalid once the E3D is approved, or if this can remain valid while I wait for my work permit to be approved? Tricky situation. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  19. I am on e3 visa currently and want to change the Employer. can i continue to work for old employer till my newemployer -1 129 Get approved. Thnaks

  20. Hi CJ,

    This site really help to sort out almost all issues, Thanks for your help. I have one question which i was not able to find out here.

    1. I just arrived to US on E3 and working with an employer, Say A, now i got another offer from different company, say B, As far as i understood from your help, i can leave my current employer A and can start working with NEW employer B after they file my new LCA and its approved, LATER on i will change my status via filing i129 form. the only draw back would be if i leave USA, i need to stamp again. PLEASE CONFIRM AGAIN TO MAKE SURE.

    2. My spouse is still in Australia and she already got visa stamped with my current employer A, NOT new employer B. Now the question is, if i join new Employer B without leaving USA, Would my wife be able to come to USA or i will have to send all paper to australia for new stamping for her ?

    Would be great help.
    Thanks mate

  21. Hi,

    I’m on E3 visa in the US. My visa expires on April 2017. I was approached by another employer to change my job. What do you think is the best to do:

    1. Change my employer within the US with a new Labor Condition Application (LCA) and travel to Australia in April when is my preferable time to visit, or
    My understanding is my employer can be changed in the US but should be done within 10 days :http://e3visa.com/e3-visa-transfer/

    2. Visit Australia now and change both visa and employer all together

    Thanks for your help


  22. Hi, I am currently in USA on an E3 visa working full time as a professional. I would like to do contract work on a per day basis every now and then in the same industry. Can I do this without adding another employer? What would happen if I worked for them anyway without adding a second employer? Thank you

  23. question
    My E3 expired Jan-2017 , my I94 good til Jan 2018.. I called immigration and then state and they stated Im good to continue to work but when I leave country (before I94 2018) I must renter on a new E3 visa . Is this correct or do I need to go home before then? I called 2x and they stated same thing. Just wanted to make sure. Is there a time after visa expires I need to renew or are they right as I94 governs my period or authorized stay and my employer can file an LCA to cover the period .

  24. Hi!

    I hope this question can get answered in time and thank you thank you for all your kind help. I’m going to have my e3 visa renewed with a new employer and I want to know if it’s an option to have your passport and documents along with new LCA send to Sydney and back to America or do I have to leave the country so that I can mail it to the consulate? If so, I can have my family in Australia take care of that all I need to know if it’s fine that I stay in America while this all happens.

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