Back after a mini break which in the end was only 4 days without posting 🙂 Hope you all did not miss me too much. Since the title is a common question I get asked, I thought I would do a mini post about it.
So the E3 Visa has this requirement about Bachelor Degree and the role being a specialty occupation. Look even if you read the US Embassy FAQ about this, the definition is really a whole bunch of words that mean nothing.
In short the E3 Visa will apply if the job you are applying for in the US has a Bachelors Degree as one of the requirements or conditions for hiring a candidate. Now that does not necessarily mean you need a bachelors degree that is relevant to the role you are being hired for or even a Bachelors Degree at all.
In the US the undergraduate degree system is a lot more general so people may major in Political Science for example but go into Investment Banking. So if you have an Arts, Commerce, Science, Engineering or Law Degree as an Australian that will pretty much cover you for most roles.
They may ask you a question at the Consulate interview about this but that is easily answered by “you having a desire to go into **** field because that is where your talent and passion lies and your degree gives you great underlying knowledge to pursue it” (or something to that effect 🙂 haha) Most likely it will never even come up.
If you don’t have a bachelors degree, the so-called rule is that you have 2 to 2.5 years of relevant work experience in lieu of each year of a standard degree in the field you are applying for. Now in Australia you can get Bachelors Degrees in 3 years but in the US it generally takes 4 years to get an undergraduate bachelors degree.
My tip is if you don’t have a degree but you have 9-12 years of verifiable work experience that is directly related to the role you have applied for and won in the US, and the employer has successfully filed an received the LCA from the US Department of Labor for you to take to the Visa Interview, then you will be fine! (of course the more experience the better!!)
So a specialty occupation for the E3 visa really becomes a role which requires specialized knowledge that can be obtained either by you having a Bachelors Degree or enough relevant work experience.
Of course for the E3 Visa, if your role requires some sort of certification that you need to do in the US to ply your trade in addition to your background qualifications, then you will have to that as well soon after entering the US.
Hope this clears things up.