How To Get Your E3 Visa Indirectly via the F-1 visa

Judging by the recent comments I am receiving and the regular emails from readers interested in the E-3 visa, the struggle most people are facing, particularly in the economy is finding jobs where employers will sponsor your E-3 visa.

With the above 2 links I have given a lot of background information to the E-3 visa beyond what official and other sites may tell you as well as great tips to finding a job.

Now today I think I will go into one of 2 indirect ways to get your E-3 visa (I will discuss the other in a suture post);

  1. via F-1 visa
  2. via J-1 visa

The F-1 Visa:
This visa is a full time student visa and used mostly by International students from all over the world to study at US college and universities for their undergraduate, masters/graduate and/or PHD programs. I will cover more on the F-1 visa in future posts including all its benefits and pitfalls, requirements as well as how to apply, etc.

It is very popular and historically has been the main way people from all over the world have been able to transfer from student to the H-1B visa. So in essence it is already used extensively as a stepping stone for Internationals to become full working professionals in the United States.

Of course this is not a cheap option, as outside of outstanding students and those in many PHD programs, chances are you will have to pay for your education in full. As you may be aware, college tuition fees in the US are not cheap.

Well short of having a source of funds to be able to attend one of the prestigious universities in the US like the Ivy League Group including Harvard or Yale, you can attend state universities where the tuition is much lower (although still probably expensive by global standards).

The tuition at state universities is subsidized by the Government and is even lower for residents of that state (normally you have to live in a state for 1 year to qualify for this so after a year of study your fees may even go down depending on the regulations of that state and university regarding foreign students).

The fees are generally charged by the amount of credits each subjects gives you and of course you need a certain amount. Without going into too much detail about this in this post, you are looking at up to $5,000 per semester for undergraduates but this depends on a large amount of factors and could vary. Here is a link from Sallie Mae to help you estimate costs. Of course Masters programs can be more but is generally only half the length of a undergraduate degree (2 years vs. 4 years)

Now it is very difficult for International students to get loans in the US, however Sallie Mae does have a program called Tuition Pay allowing to break up payments evenly over the months of a semester.

After all that what the F-1 visa does give you is the ability to do 4 things which greatly enhance your chances of finding an employer to sponsor your E-3 visa easily.

  1. CPT – Curricullum Practical Training which allows you to work for credits to your degree (don’t do more than 12 months as it makes you ineligible for OPT)
  2. OPT – Occupational Practical Training which is 1 year for undergraduates and now possibly up to 2 years for Masters or Higher Degree Holders to work at a US company. This is usually done by a student following graduation
  3. Network via University, Alumni and Above Work Training Programs – The contacts you meet will be invaluable probably for the rest of your life and you will have so much help, support and advantage compared to the average E3 visa hopeful
  4. Time – This may be the most important advantage as say you do a 4 year degree in the US or even transfer here for a part of your degree, you have so much time to do practical things like apply for jobs, build resumes and attend job interviews.

Finally I will give you the 2 final links that will help ensure you get your E3 visa and that is;
How to explain the E-3 visa to an employer
How To Change from an F-1 visa to an E-3 visa while in the US

I hope this gives you another option in your quest to obtain your E3 visa and begin your new life working and living in the US.


6 thoughts on “How To Get Your E3 Visa Indirectly via the F-1 visa

  1. I have a friend and his status is student so he wants to know what he has to do in order to change his status of student for work visa.

  2. Hi I came to US as a tourist to visit my husband who is currently in OPT and now i have changed my status to F2. I hold Australian citizenship and i am looking for ways to apply for E3 visa. I am not sure if i could change my status from F2 to E3 as you have only mentioned from changing status from F1 and J1. please provide some guidance how should i go about. thank you

  3. Sumky you can change from a F-2 visa to an E-3 visa only if you are an Australian citizen. You can tell your employer whatever you choose but your situation is no different to someone coming here as a tourist as ultimately your employer has to sponsor you for you to legally work here.

  4. Hi
    I am also in the same situation as Sumky where I will be on a F2 visa and wish to convert to a E3 visa if I am able to find a job in the US. I am an Australian Citizen. How long will it take to convert from F2 to E3 while in the US? I’m a little confused with your last response to Sumky regarding the employer requiring to sponsor you. I thought there was no cost to sponsor a E3 candidate? Lastly, if my husband has his own visa (F1) will he have to fill out the forms you mentioned above? Thanks

  5. Hi,

    First of all, thank you so much for putting together this blog and offering such useful suggestions and information!!! You rock!

    My question is – am I able to look for work while on a F1 student visa, and then once I have a job offer I’ll switch to an E3 visa? I guess where I’m concerned about is the part of looking for work while on a student visa? I cannot find anywhere online that says I CAN do this, but neither does it say that I can’t look for work?

    Thanks heaps,

  6. Hi there can any one tell me is it possible to change E3 visa to L1 while you working in USA

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