E-3 Visa Demonstrate Residence Abroad Condition

When it comes to the E3 Visa one of the most common questions asked is the ‘demonstrate residence abroad’ condition and specifically why does it exist, how you prove it, how does it apply to the no dual intent provision and finally what are the risk it will affect being approved for US visa sponsorship under the E3 visa.

Why Does it Exist & The Dual Intent Provision

As a quick bit of background, the ‘demonstrate residence abroad’ provision applies to all visas which do not specifically allow for dual intent like the H1B visa. Essentially dual intent as a provision specifically allows for the visa holder so simultaneously pursue Permanent Residency in the US. So visas like the E3 visa as well as the J1 Visa and F1 Visa among others have this same ‘no dual intent’ provision where the applicant when at the US consulate has to demonstrate residence abroad.

Now in saying that while the E3 Visa does not have a dual intent provision like the H1B visa, it also unlike the J1 Visa and F1 visa doesn’t specifically prohibit a person from pursuing permanent residency/green card either. You can read what the exact wording is, in some of the other links about the E3 visa contained in this post.

How Do You Prove It & Risks To You As A E3 Visa Applicant

This is a question with no exact answer and often is dependent on your particular background and ties with the US and also somewhat on how detail orientated a particular consular official may be.

In general it must be said though that Australians on the whole are though of as low risk non-immigrants and visitors to the US in terms of people who are like to overstay their allowed time. This has a lot to do with the fact that Australia is another rich Western country so their applicants are not under the same scrutiny as other countries considered higher risk.

Often many E3 visa applicants report when they visit the US Consulate for their interview that they have not had to show any evidence as proof of demonstrating residence abroad and many others just had to verbally say ‘yes’ they intend to return.

So for example from being involved with hearing people’s E3 visa experiences, the people that tend to have to provide the most evidence to prove this condition include;

– those not born in Australia and may have recently become Australian citizens
– those with few family ties in Australia often because of the experience above
– those who have many close family connections who are residents or citizens in the US
– those who may have overstayed a previous US Visa or Visa Waiver Program
– unusual elements in your past like criminal history, etc.

However when you attend your US visa interview it is always good to have proof on hand just in case they do ask you to show evidence. So the type of information that can be helpful in this regard includes but is not limited too;

– close family ties in Australia (this is often a verbal proof and is easily verified by US consular officials)
– significant asset ownership proof like mortgage document for home, car, business, etc.
– bank statements with account history
– verbal mention of prior US visa visits where you obeyed the conditions of entry
– miscellaneous links  that tie you to Australia that will compel you to return
– citizenship/residence and asset documents you may have for another country that you intend to leave for

As you can see there is no set list but the top 3 to 4 items are the standard ways to prove your ties. The truth is if it is obvious that you have sold up your entire life in Australia and you also fall into the higher risk categories I mentioned earlier you may be asked additional questions or they may decide to investigate your particular case further and not approve your E3 visa on the spot. This is often called administrative processing and on average take 1-3 weeks extra but can extend into months on rare occasions.

Like I said in all likelihood this is not a condition you have to worry about too much but it always pays to be prepared when attending your E3 Visa US Consulate Interview.

Good Luck as always,


27 thoughts on “E-3 Visa Demonstrate Residence Abroad Condition

  1. Hey CJ

    Do you know the answer to this? I got a new E3 about 18 months ago with a U.S. employer. I realize my 24 month renewal process is coming up – does it happen automatically in the sense my company’s legal department will just file the paperwork and complete the process or can my employer actually say no to the renewal? We are a successful company with no layoffs and my performance is fine so that there is no reason to think they wouldn’t renew it but technically, I wasn’t sure if they could simply say no and if so, do they owe me any advance notice? Plus, being familiar with visa renewals, I think now is the time renewal papers start being prepared (around six months before the renewal date). Will that actually involve me or is it just a paper process for the legal department?

  2. Hi there CJ,

    Just want to say how fantastic this site is. It is helping heaps.

    My question for you is. . .I was in the states working on a J1 visa as a chef for the Marriott hotel group. I have been offered a management position in the kitchen. They are happy to give me a job leter and offer. Will i quailfy for the E3 visa? I have read that there is a E3-b visa that might be more what i am looking for.
    Thankyou for your help in advance


  3. Hi Stacey,
    Thanks for the kind words and glad it is helping you in some way in your journey.
    I am not sure where you hear about and E3-b visa but have never heard of it and never seen it on any US Government website as a visa type. There is an E3D visa for dependents of the E3 visa holder and E3R visa type which for renewals of the original E3 visa.
    A management position in the kitchen may qualify for the E3 visa but as you have probably already read here it really comes down to this post; https://visacoach.org/2009/05/22/e3-visa-the-bachelors-degree-specialty-occupation-conditions/. So whether they see that role as something that requires a bachelors degree minimum and thus qualifying as a specialty role. People have got the E3 visa as a chef so that is not out of the question.
    Good Luck,

  4. Hi CJ

    Another question. Is it possible to go to the states on a J1 visa then once i am there i can do a change of status to an E3 visa?
    I am worried that they will not accept me being a chef on the E3 visa and i just want to try and cover all my basses.
    Thanks again

  5. Hi Stacey,
    If you go on a J1 visa you have to be careful as you may have the 2 year home residency rule applied to you meaning you would have to go back outside the US for a period of at least 2 years prior to being issued another US visa. Read these 2 posts; https://visacoach.org/2009/03/14/j-1-visa-internship-int-professional-career-training-pct-programs/ and https://visacoach.org/2009/12/23/j1-visa-2-year-residency-rule-waiver/.
    It is possible to change status from the J1 visa to the E3 visa but if your role was going to be denied, doing a transfer within the US is not really going to help your chances as it still needs to approved. As mentioned I am aware of chefs who have got the E3 visa, so you have just have to ensure your role and job description as defined are as I said before a specialty occupation and bachelors degree compliant.
    Good Luck,

  6. Hi CJ,

    All your posts are very valuable and very informative and i really appreciate your time and effort you put to help out people like us. I have a small query as well…

    I am an Australian citizen and got my citizenship like 1 year ago and i have been here in Australia for the past 6 years and have completed Masters Degree In IT up here and completed Bachelors Degree back in INDIA in Electronics.

    i have my distant cousin living in New York and he has got me an IT job with in his company.i have been working only in a call center in Australia till date I don’t have any assets here in Australia apart from a car which i am gonna sell anyway and of course i do intend to come back to Australia with in a couple of years. is it better for me to apply a E3 visa or another Visa??

    please help..i am really stuck up on this

  7. Hi Murali,
    Sorry for the delay in reponse and thanks for the kind words. If you read some of the other user comments here and on other sites, there have been cases where people like yourself who are recent Australian citizens have found it tougher to prove this intention and have had delays and denials in their E3 visa processing. Equally there have been others who have had no issue and then gone on to get green cards later in the US. So my best advice to you is that your job in the US and the company is completely legitimate and that when you attend your US Consulate Interview, follow all the advice here; https://visacoach.org/2009/11/02/e3-visa-us-consulate-interview/ and bring in as many documents as you can and be prepared to answer questions as to why you are leaving Australia so soon and how can they be assured you intend to return.
    There is some merit to consider the H1B visa in your case where there is no demonstrate residence abroad condition, however that is more costly for your company and there is only a limited quota. Also the work period for the H1B visa doesn’t begin till October 1 even if you are successful.
    There is no magic solution for this but you must be confident and truthful in the way you conduct yourself in that interview in case they do ask these types of questions so you give yourself the best chance of approval.
    Good Luck,

  8. Hi CJ,

    Regarding residence abroad, I’ve been living in London for 7 years and own a property here so more likely to be returning to the UK then Australia. Would the US see this as an issue? Should I be saying that I’ll be going back to Australia rather the UK?

    Thanks for your help in advance!


  9. Hi CJ,

    First of all, let me congratulate you on doing such a wonderful work for free. You are showing a true Aussie spirit.

    I recently talked to a Immigration lawyer in US and his fee was 2000 USD for E3 visa. After going through your site, I feel confident to apply on my own. Well thanks heaps.

    My question is similar to that of “TD” above.
    I am an Australian Citizen but I am living in Canada for the past one year on permanent resident basis. So, should I be talking in the interview about my ties with Australia, Canada or both.

    In another words, are they more interested in my ties with Australia OR whether I will leaving US in the future and going to Canada or Australia.

    Thanks heaps.
    Harry B

  10. Hi CJ,
    I currently hold an E3 visa, as my husband works in the USA. At the moment I work as a Teacher in WA, and am moving to be with him in the USA at the end of this year. My qualifications are 2 bachelor degrees completed in Australia, and am wondering what I have to do to get them recognised in the States so I can work there too?

  11. Hi TD,
    The intention is to leave the US and it doesn’t in theory matter where. Generally you don’t have to get into those sort of specifics in a Consulate interview.

  12. Hi Harry,
    Thanks for the kind words and well done on your own initiative.
    Ultimately it is about leaving the US and it doesn’t matter where so either way is fine if you get asked that specific question in your case given your dual status.

  13. Hi CJ,

    Thanks for advising me and putting me in the right direction.

    Just wanted to update you that I had my interview at Toronto Consulate and I together with my family got the visa. Now, I am successfully working in US. Your website has been of immense help to me and I was able to do all my application on my own without the help of any attorney.

    I was worried that they would grill me at the interview about my connections with Australia or Canada because I acquired Australian citizenship just recently. But, to my good luck they didnt ask anything about that. All the interview was concentrated on my future job, past job and my employer in US. They treated me just like any other Australian. Being a Canadian Resident also helped a lot at the interview as well as at the border when I was crossing to US by road. I think they were satisfied that after the end of my job, I would return to Canada if not Australia.

    I crossed to US through border at Niagara falls and to my surprise they gave me a hard time there whereas I was worried for the Consulate interview all the time. They didnt know about the E3 visa in the first place. But, I was finally able to satisfy them with their questions and they let me in.

    I also noticed in other posts, people having trouble with Ottawa consulate. In my opinion Toronto consulate is much better. Another tip I can offer is to go for the interview times very early in the morning. Consulate opens at 8 and all the staff doesnt arrive at time. So, they have a lot of people to process. For that reason they try to process the applicants quickly and dont ask useless questions.

    I hope my post will be useful for somebody who fits into my shoes in the future.

    Thanks again CJ. You have been a life changer.


  14. G’day all. I am going for an e3 visa interview next week. However, my situation is a little different to most. I have not lived in australia for around 8 years, working mostly in europe. I have duel citizenship(UK and Australia) and i am honestly unlikely to return to australia after the 2 year visa, i am more likely to live in england or somewhere in europe. The problem is aside from one australian bank account and most of my family, i don’t have any other real ties here. Do i just tell them that i am unlikely to return to australia because i will probably return to the UK? My brother lives in the US and i am also concerned that this fact will work against me. Any advice you can offer would be much appreciated. thanks

  15. Morgan given you are a UK citizen with plenty of ties there then you can demonstrate residence abroad with the UK, it doesn’t have to be Australia. Immediate family is something that often can get raised if they see other red flags or if your brother is US Citizen who may try and sponsor you over but if he is just on a work or student visa as well then should be no issue.

  16. Hi Coach, thank you kindly for your swift response. I unfortunately don’t have any real ties over in the UK, except for citizenship. I have lived in 12 different countries since i left australia in 2005, meaning i don’t have many ties anywhere. I am worried this transient lifestyle is going to reduce to chance to prove ties anywhere. My brother is not a citizen but he is a permanent resident in the US, will the look at that in the same light as if he was a citizen?

    Thanks again

  17. Hello
    I am in the US in the OPT/F1 status and I was fortunate enough to be selected for further processing for the green card lottery, sent in my initial documents indicating I wished to undertake adjustment of status in the US, but I have not gone current yet (and may not due to high case number). I have been offered a job by an employer willing to employ me on an E3 visa. I am concerned that the lottery win will cause me grief at my interview even though my intention is to return to Australia at some point. Any advice for my special situation? Thanks!

  18. Sally you will be fine going for an E-3 visa independently with the Green Card Lottery as well possibly processing. The Green Card Lottery tends to be a special case in these instances.

  19. Hi,

    My wife is a US Citizen and filed an immigrant petition for me, which is pending. Apart from this fact I would definitely qualify for an E-3 visa, but would the pending petition rule me out before I even start?



  20. Ok Thanks for that.
    So, I have filed a DSP-122 and DS-230 pursuant to the lottery win. Therefore in my DS-160 when it asks “Has anyone ever filed an immigrant petition on your behalf” I should say “yes”?

  21. Sam if you are outside the US with an open immigrant petition then that may cause issues with questioning when applying for a non-immigrant visa like the E-3 visa. They will probably ask you why you are applying for it and it is your answer as to why you are when you could wait to hopefully get approval on the immigrant petition that will determine everything. As strictly speaking the E-3 visa is not an explicitly stated dual intent visa (although it is not prohibited either like some visas) meaning have permanent and non-permanent intentions at the same time.

  22. Sally the Green Card Lottery is a unique case so if all the filing has been done by you then the answer to that question would be no as that would relate to either family or a company filing an immigrant petition on your behalf. They will possibly know but best to be candid in an interview about the fact that you were selected as well and this going concurrently. Almost certainly having that going along will cause no issue with E-3 visa processing b/c it is the lottery.

  23. Hi visa coach,
    I’m an Indian origin Australian. I lived in Australia for 12 years with wife and kids. I’m living in India for past one year, I sold properties and closed all my accounts in australia. I have no intention of coming back to australia
    in near future. I’m working in IT. I’ve got a job in the US and employer applied for LCA. I have booked for an interview in Perth in next 10 days. Do I have to prove ties with Australia, or India would be OK. I have life time Indian visa, which is mostly similar to Permanent Residency. I have own house, other properties and bank accounts India to prove the toes with India. Please advise.

  24. Hi,

    Can you please advise how I can best indicate demonstrate residence abroad condition. I got my Australian citizenship around 2 years back, but I have been studying in France for last one year. I do not have any mortgage back in Australia, I do own a home in India. The reason I want to apply for E3 visa is that my husband is working in US on H1B and I can not work as a dependent of H1B.


  25. Hi Cj, this is a great piece of work, much much appreciated and all this is a good deed.
    Me and my wife are Indian born Aus citizens since 2012(4yrs) and been in Australia since 2006. We have a 6 yr old child born in Australia. We plan to move to us for a few years to get him treated for a condition which has brilliant help. I have a property here 2 cars and a life for 10 yrs, I’ve been to the u.sheaps of time and returned on time. When I attend my e-3 interview will it be a problem to show intent to return despite my assets? Both me and my wife’s siblings are citizens in the us.

    Any tips would help.

  26. Hey, Love the site and your help. I am currently on OPT visa which expires in 70 days. How long before it expires do I need to go and renew my visa? Also since I have a B.A. in Economics (not stem) what kind of jobs am I eligible to work.



  27. My son is an Australian citizen(born in Australia) and would like to do his medical residency in the USA. He did his medical degree from India. Could you help me on
    following ?

    1. He can get his J1 visa through ECFMG sponsor and most residency programs
    accept J1. But because of the 2 year Return to Mother country condition, he
    is reluctant to take J1 and instead prefers E3 Visa which can be renewed
    indefinitely. But we are not sure whether all residency programs will
    accept E3 sponsorship. Due to that reason he may end up gettiing J1. In
    that situation, can he change his visa status from J1 to E3 while being on J1? I read
    somewhere it is not allowed for medical trainees . Is it true ?

    2. While being on J1 Visa and after a completing resdiency training (3 years) can he take up job as a doctor ?

    3. Is it possible to change J1/E3 to an immigrant visa through marriage to
    an American citizen ?

    4. I understand one can hold two different visas at the same time. So can he apply for E3 Visa while being on J1 and without cancelling it ?

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