E3 Visa FAQs & Myths

We have done so many posts on the E3 visa you may wonder what else there is to cover.

As a quick update we have;
E3 Visa General Information
E3 Visa US Consulate Interview
Transfer to an E3 Visa from another US Visa
E3D Visa – spouse and dependent visa for the E3 Visa
Step by Step Guide to your E3 Visa
Social Security & Healthcare while on the E3 Visa
Getting a job on the E3 Visa
Explaining the E3 Visa to an employer
Going to a Green Card from the E3 Visa
How much does the E3 Visa application cost?
Extending, Renewing or Changing Employers on the E3 Visa
E3 Visa Renewal without US Consulate Interview
How Does the E3 Visa Differ from the H1B visa
E3 Visa Job Information
E3 Visa Employer Database (exclusive)
E3 Visa Bachelors Degree and Specialty Occupation conditions explained
E3 Visa Bachelors Degree Proof If You Have No Degree
E3 Visa Demonstrate Residence Abroad condition explained
E3 Visa concepts explained in easy to understand language
Do I need a lawyer for the E3 Visa process?
Laid off on the E3 Visa

So as you can see we have a very comprehensive list of resources for you to access and read up upon at your leisure to become fully versed in everything that the E3 visa has to offer as well as its limitations. Additionally in many of our other posts there is further information that is relevant to E3 visa holders as well so the resources we have for you become endless 🙂

However we thought we would provide something new and extra here as we like to do as we did the E3 visa only employer database above. There are so few resources specific to the E3 visa that we like to help bring some attention to it, to help you all out.

Based on the feedback and comments we get everyday and to us have been surprisingly overwhelming from individuals, employers, agencies and the corporate sector, we think there is a couple of additional tips we can provide for you to help clarify some myths and help you on your way.

1. If you are in a sector like Trade or Construction or something in the Arts or Sport, the E3 visa is probably not suitable for you in most instances. The H2B visa while not perfect is more suitable with trade type roles, although there are many limitations. The O visa category is better when you are talking about area like the Arts or Sport.

2. The E3 visa interview is a very straightforward process if you plan ahead and have all your documentation ahead of time. Ensure you have paid your application fee prior to going (done at Australia Post if applying in Australia), have a US size passport photo (larger than what you normally have in Australia), have an express pre-paid return envelope for them to send your passport back and my extra tip book your interview for earlier in the day as that tends to mean a much shorter time spent at the US consulate. It can be multiple hours in there waiting. Also note you can’t take mobile phones in the interview area so have to leave them with security or iPods, so take a book as your only form of entertainment while waiting.

3. You can certainly apply for E3 Visa at US consulates around the world but NOT within the US unless you are transferring from another set selction of US visa types (does not include tourist visa waiver program). The processes are slightly different depending on the US consulate you apply at in different countries, however the best thing is to know the process and payment procedures thoroughly prior to attending your interview.

Good Luck,
CJ

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64 thoughts on “E3 Visa FAQs & Myths

  1. Hi CJ, 

    Great website! I am currently in the US on an E3 visa and I wanted to change employers. I know I need to compete an I-129 and attach an approved LCA, but do I need to apply for an extenson of status? I still have a little over one year validity on my current visa.
    Can i travel in and out of the US while the form I-129 is being processed? USCIS told me that i can as long as my visa is valid..is this correct?
    They also told me that the name of employer on the visa doesn’t matter as long as visa is current and you have an approved LCA with an I-129 form in process.
    They also advised that I can work for the new company as soon as USCIS confirms receipt fo the I-129 form. I had that confirmed 4 times by 4 different people from USCIS. I read online on blog posts and other websites, however, the complete opposite to all of the above..

    There is so much conflicting information on the Internet and what USCIS told me is not written anywhere clearly.. Do you have any idea as to the accuracy of the above?

    I hope you can offer some insight..it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thankyou,
    T

  2. Hi T,
    – You cannot travel while your I-129 is being processed as that is considered a trigger for them to consider that petition abandoned. In practice noone might ever know, however any legal expert on immigration well tell you this is not advisable given the risk.
    – That is correct the name on the E-3 visa does not matter as long as the expiry date is in the future for travel in and out. Just ensure you are traveling with your approved I-797 form which will specify your new company. This is what you receive once your I-129 is approved.
    – The working for a new company while being processed is a very grey area. The H-1B visa portability provision explicitly allows it and the E-3 visa does not mention it all. Some take that to mean that it is not allowed where as others say the E-3 visa takes on characteristics in other processes of the H-1B visa when it is not explicitly written in the law so it should in this case as well. The practical reality is that if you started working for your new company after it is filed and you receive the initial receipt no., almost certainly nothing is going to happen to you or your company especially if it is eventually approved anyway, however there is always a minor risk that some future assessment officer who is pedantic might question you on dates for a future Immigration case like a Green Card application. Different USCIS people give different answers to this and different people have been told different things by legal people. Ultimately just do what works for you and your company and just be aware of the grey area of it all.
    Cj

  3. Hi, This is all so much help.

    I am just wondering …

    When you go to the Visa interview do you have to take in the original LCA and job offer letter (as they are currently in the USA in my case)?

    Or am I able to take in a scanned & signed copy of both?

    Thanks,

    Josh

  4. Hi Josh,
    The copy of a signed offer letter should certainly be fine and generally haven’t heard any issue with a copy of the LCA as ultimately it is the actual approval and the number on there that is important.
    Cj

  5. Hi CJ,

    Thankyou so much for your reply.
    So once I receive the I-797 form I am able to travel out of the united states and back on my current visa?

    Thankyou again for your help, I really appreciate it.

  6. Hi CJ,
    This site is amazing and is such a valuable resource for those not able to afford a lawyer! I have a job offer, but my employer wants me to start as soon as possible- so I want to try and book my appointment in Melbourne asap, but on the DS-160 form it has a section where you have to say Yes or No to having an approved LCA form, and then put in the number. Can I say No for this question so I can finish the application and book my appointment, or do I need to wait for this number?

    Thanks so much!

  7. Hannah you can’t fill that DS-160 online form until you have your number as once filled in the application process it gets submitted so you will have to wait. If you do say ‘No’ then I am not exactly sure what will happen and whether it causes any hold up or if it will even let you submit at the end.
    Cj

  8. CJ,

    Like the many others I thank you for putting your time and effort into this website!

    I am currently here in the US on a visa waiver and am tossing up driving to Toronto or flying back to Australia to have my initial E3 visa appointment.

    I have read that Toronto does process the initial E3 visa however am skeptical about actually obtaining an interview there as I wouldn’t have a Canadian visa.

    Can you please advise.

    Kind Regards

    John

  9. John in theory Toronto should process initial E-3 visa applications but there have been so many reports on here from others who have had bad experiences directly and have been warned by the Canadian US Consulates not to come. Also there have been success stories. It would seem that in terms of closer locations, Mexico, Dominican Republic, The Bahamas and even UK may be less risky options.
    Cj

  10. Hi CJ,

    This website has been a great help. I’m in the process of negotiating with a potential employer in San Francisco, CA. The position will allow me to apply for an E-3 Visa on the basis of my Specialty Occupation. The agreement with my employer however revolves around me working part-time whilst also furthering my Education (to a Masters level) at the University of California. Would the E-3 Visa be acceptable to both work and study under? Or would I need to apply for a different Visa?
    Thanks for the help,

    Travis

  11. Travis you would be eligible to study on the E-3 visa it is more just your primary role and wage being seen as sufficient as they might ask you in your US Consulate to prove how you plan to support yourself if not covering general living expenses in a part time role. Generally US schools also require proof of income and assets for foreign students to be accepted as well so just things to consider in your whole process.
    Cj

  12. Hi CJ,

    I am about to apply for an extension to my initial E3 however cannot seem to workout where my employer needs to send it to and any supporting documents with the extension?

  13. Hi

    Im an an Australian citizen and commercial pilot. I dont have a degree but have 12 years experience in the IT industry as well as 12 years in aviation.

    I have the Australian CPL/IR-Multi and EASA/European frozen ATPL with ratings and certificates.

    There is such a thing as a Bachelors of aviation degree in the US which I will do eventually but dont have at present. I will also be converting my pilots licences over to the FAA Air Transport Pilots Licence (ATP) which is required for joining an airline.

    Do I qualify for an E3 Visa providing I get an offer of employment.

  14. Hi ,
    Your website was very helpful.
    I have some questions.
    What proof should I show for ties in Australia.
    I have a loan of 20K and I am planning to invest that in a business. In this case what proof should I show.
    Have a car.

    would you suggest me any other proofs for that please.
    Ajay

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