E3 Visa Renewal & Reissue Without US Consulate Interview

So occasionally the US Immigration system makes some positive changes. We recently talked about the ability to use an unexpired US visa in your old passport while using a new passport to travel and now a recent change will help the E3 visa renewal process to be quicker for some people.

The E3 visa itself is on the lower end of complex non-immigrant visas in the US Immigration system in terms of documents, costs, competition, approval process and logistics of actually obtaining the US visa in your passport.

However the US Immigration system is inherently complex and often very unfair and unforgiving, and many people unfairly get caught up in this. Often with the E3 visa this happens at the last hurdle just when an applicant is up to the final stage and attending their E3 Visa US Consulate Interview. Often not fully prepared people are in a manner of speaking ambushed at this juncture and can have their visa application outright denied or almost as bad have it go through Administrative Processing.

Now many people are up to or have gone through their first E3 visa renewal after their 2 year period and others have gone through 2 or 3 visa renewals. Now this E3 visa renewal can be done within the US but the drawbacks with this approach are that it has to be done via the USCIS. This means the process can take up to 6 months but on average for most people seems to take about 1-3 months to be approved. So this requires plenty of planning in advance with your employer if this is to be done.

Unlike the H1B visa where it explicitly states, that a foreigner on this visa can continue working while this renewal application is being process, the E3 does not. This is actually common with the E3 visa in that USCIS directives are that when in doubt it should follow the H1B visa legislation since that is what it was modeled on and is similar too, however as it is not explicitly written in the law, different people give different advice both from the Legal industry and from within the US Government itself! Therefore if you talk to E3 visa holders they will give you different advice and different good and horror stories. Because of this what tends to happen as I mentioned above for those that want to do it wihin the country, they tend to plan and do the application well in advance to avoid any potential immigration issues.

The other thing to note in regards to the E3 visa renewal petition itself with the USCIS is that a new Labor Condition Application approval is needed from the Department of Labor and then a fee is required to be paid to the USCIS for the E3 visa renewal petition which is currently over $300 USD. This differs from doing the application outside the US where the only fee is the US Consulate application fee which is approximately $130 USD.

The biggest drawback other than the cost/time issue with doing the E3 visa renewal within the US is that you don’t actually get a new E3 visa. In fact as far as the US Government is concerned it is not your US Visa that has been renewed or extended it is your US Visa status that has been extended. This subtle distinction which may seem just semantics actually means a lot.

If you were to travel Internationally anywhere after your current E3 visa has expired but you have an approval for extension of E3 visa status from the USCIS, you will need to re-apply again for a new E3 visa at a US Consulate. A vaild and unexpired US visa is needed for re-entry into the US and the extension of status you received within the US just means you can continue working legally and operate as normal but does not give you the new visa which is the only thing that get you reentry into the United States under that same visa status.

So given all that what is the positive change that has recently been made for E3 Visa Renewals and Reissues.

Well for Australian citizens on the E3 visa who;

  • Are applying for the same type of visa within 12 months of the expiration of your previous visa?
  • Have previously provided a full set of 10 fingerprints at a Consulate during a visa interview?
  • Are an Australian citizen or permanent resident?
  • Area resident of the Consular district in which you are applying for your visa?
  • Where the previous visa approved at the time of the interview without any correspondence from the Consulate indicating your application required further administrative processing?
    and whose…
  • Previous visa was not lost, stolen, or revoked;
  • Have not changed your name or nationality since the issuance of your last U.S. visa;
  • Have not been previously refused a visa or entry into the US;
  • Previous visa did not require a waiver of ineligibility (For example: criminal convictions)
  • Have had no arrests or convictions (other than minor traffic violations) that have occurred since your previous visa was issued.
  • Have no ineligibilities or reason to believe you have failed to comply with U.S. immigration law

So if you could answer yes to all those question you may be eligible to the E3 Visa Renewal and Reissue without attending the US Consulate Interview. It should be noted that you have to present within your designated Consular district within this time and you have to mail the application from Australia and not from the US.

There isn’t any word on the processing time of all this but if they could legitimately receive an application you posted on Monday, on Tuesday. Then take 24 hours to review and to the E3R E3 visa renewal in you passport and mail it back to you by Thursday or Friday that same week, then it could definitely be worth it. However if it takes much longer than this period to process that could effect many people’s plans so we will report back as we find out more and look forward to your feedback and experiences with this process.


92 thoughts on “E3 Visa Renewal & Reissue Without US Consulate Interview

  1. Kim if you are doing a renewal of an existing E-3 visa with the same employer, known as the E-3R visa, there is little risk doing it anywhere. We have never heard reports of people having renewal issues in Canada or elsewhere. The processing time will still likely be on average 2 days after your Consulate interview. However do book your interview well in advance as they can be hard to get at desired times even a month or two in advance.

  2. Hi CJ,
    I am SO glad I stumbled across your site. I have learnt more in the last hour I’ve been reading your information and the comments/replies than I have from my immigration lawyer. That being said I have some questions, because I’m freaking out and again my immigration lawyer is useless.
    So my e3 visa expired in feb 2014, and my immigration lawyer told me when I called her in October of 2013 that we could renew my e3 visa up until the day it expired. I called her to be proactive and because I was going home to Australia for a visit in Novemeber 2013 and wondered if I needed to do anything while I was there. She said no. Clearly, I could’ve had an interview and had this all sorted by now, but because I was misinformed I am back in the US with an expired visa and a very unhelpful lawyer. Apparently (I say this because I don’t trust her) we have filed my renewal for my e3 with the same employer, which was done sometime in early Feb 2014…. I called her to find out if she knew anything about the status of my renewal ‘no I don’t just be patient’. Ok great but I’m not a huge risk taker and don’t want to mess with the American government. Will my application be jeopardized if it was filed in the US (nothing was sent from Australia) and/or it was possibly filed post expiration of my then current e3 visa?? My lawyer only took photocopies of my expired visa etc so I don’t know. And the stupid part is I got a lawyer so I could trust that everything would be done on time and reliably!!!!! Wth?? I’m out to pocket, stressed out to the max, and worried that US Goverment officials are going to come and take me away in handcuffs!
    Can you help alleviate any of my worries??
    Also, is there anyway for me to check the status of my application for renewal if my lawyer submitted everything??

    Annnnnd finally! I was offered a new job just recently, which I would like to take … It is 32 hours a week – is this enough to be considered full time on the e3 visa? I don’t trust any information from my lawyer as I’m sure you can understand why now.
    And if it is, and if I have had the 10 fingerprint thing done at my original interview in Perth, can I submit a new application for an e3 visa with this is new employer that way? While my other application is in limbo (if it was even submitted!)??

    I’m sorry for all the questions… I told you it was complicated!!!
    I REALLY appreciate any help you can give me!!!!

  3. Hi SJA,
    If you have your case no. you can go to USCIS online and check the status of your case. As long as the application was received prior the expiry of current visa then you are OK until the outcome of your application. You are allowed to renew your E3 visa within the US if done this way. Technically this is called extension of E3 status if approved allowing you to continually work and operate as you did before but you don’t get an actual stamp in your passport. The next time you leave the US you will still have to go and get the actual E-3 visa stamp the normal way as you did as only a visa stamp that is unexpired allows you back into the country.
    You are allowed to work part time on the E-3 visa as long as the wage being paid is at or above the prevailing wage. If you are wanting to transfer your E-3 status/visa within the US you have to go through a similar process and time for processing as renewal (2-4 months on average). Technically you can’t start on the new employer until approved and you can’t be out of work for more than 10 days so logically would have to stay at your current employer. That is why most people who have a new potential employer leave the US and get a new E-3 visa via a US Consulate with the same process as you have done originally for the new employer as ends up being a lot quicker.

  4. Thank you so much CJ for your prompt reply and again, your wonderful website. I would rather pay you the exorbitant amounts I am paying my immigration lawyer, for well, apparently nothing.

    So, I suspect my lawyer did NOT submit my renewal on time… I had all the paperwork to her but she seemed to not be phased by the deadline with a ‘oh it’ll all be submitted in a few days…’ Comment that is ringing a bell. So does that mean I’m stuffed?! (Sorry for the language) but I am in panic mode. And if so… What do I do about it?? Can I report my lawyer? (Is that even possible???) clearly if I had done the research myself I would’ve had everything sorted so how on earth does a self proclaimed (and licensed!) immigration lawyer not know the rules??????

    In regards to the job offer, it is suppose to be a full-time position, but I am not sure of what qualifies as full-time hours for the e3?? Do you by chance? Also, given the mess I’m in…. If I was to leave the country now In an attempt to apply for a new e3 visa will I be handcuffed and taken away? Or at least refused?! I’m so worried my lawyer has stuffed everything up and that’s ridiculous because she’s a LAWYER!
    My dad text me saying he couldn’t sleep over this… This is how much it is affecting my and my families life. And I don’t know what to do.

  5. SJA to confirm your application receipt date you should get your case number from your lawyer and then check online here; https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/Dashboard.do. If that date is after your visa expiry date but very close (say within 10 days) you might be ok with grace periods. If it is 1-3 months afterwards you also may be ok but they may process your application as a new visa application which just would mean you would have to leave the country after processing to get a new E-3 visa and then return. In general if you have a pending application with USCIS regardless of your prior status (so even if you were an illegal immigrant), you are allowed to remain in the US legally if you are already here until processing is completed.
    In regards to your job question it really all comes down to the Prevailing Wage regardless of the amount of hours as a part or full time worker; https://visacoach.org/2013/05/13/prevailing-wage-how-much-does-a-foreigner-need-to-be-paid/

  6. Hi CJ,
    Thank you again and again for all your help and wonderful information. I will be sending every Australian I know with questions about the e3 to your wonderful website! I wish I had known of this site earlier so I didn’t waste time and money on a lawyer!

    Good news…. My visa renewal application was submitted ONE day before it expired. I can’t even explain the amount of weight that has been lifted knowing this. I obtained my case no from my lawyer and when I checked it the application says initial review, still. Know this can take 60-90 days which is annoying but I can’t do anything about it. My last question is… Can I put a NEW application in for my new job while this other application is pending??? I would really like to start my new job ASAP so am willing to go outside of the US with all my paperwork (which I already have sorted) to get my new visa….

    Thanks again CJ. Your help has been so very much appreciated.

  7. SJA if you are going for a new job on the E-3 visa and going to leave the country to get a new visa then all you need is the approved LCA from the Department of Labor. As you can see almost all of these if approved come within 7 days (https://visacoach.org/2014/01/28/e3-visa-lca-statistics-2014/). Once you have that you take that along with your job offer letter and the same personal proofs you took for your initial E-3 visa interview at the US Consulate and go get a new visa stamp. If you have any open pending applications with USCIS and you leave the US, those applications are just considered abandoned so just will no longer be processed or apply.

  8. Hello

    I have an E3 application pending at the USCIS Vermont processing center. My employer’s attorney said he’d recently had an E3 approved within 2 weeks via Vermont and that Canadian consulates weren’t processing third party national non-immigrant visas this summer (some DOS memo to AILA?) so I agreed to go with USCIS processing rather than consular processing.

    Its been 4 weeks now and I recently connected with an immigration lawyer whose client’s E3 just got approved this week via Vermont and it took 3 months! Im freaking out a bit because Im not working and my employer wants me to be back at work asap (I was working on F1/ OPT).

    If I wanted to switch to consular processing can you advise what the process is? Can I the USCIS application keep running and then cancel any consular interview if it was approved by USCIS prior to my interview? Do you know anything about what the Canadian consulates are doing?

    Thanks 🙂

  9. Hi CJ,

    You’ve worked very hard to put such an awesome website together. It’s helping fellow Aussies… I have a few questions for ya.

    If I were to get an offer from a new employer (for a perm position with much better salary and perks), would I need my paystubs for an E3 visa transfer with USCIS? Or would I need those paystubs for a new employer’s offer at a Consular office outside US if I were to go that route instead? I have been in the country only for 2 months and was contacted for a much better role, got interviewed, and now offer’s been made. They want to transfer my visa at the earliest.

    Also, do you see any issues in getting a new visa at a Consular office considering I’m getting an offer after spending just the 2 months with my first employer?

    Any help in this regard will be highly appreciated!



  10. Dear CJ,

    Great website, full of valuable information! I have a couple of questions I hope you can help me with. I’m in the US currently on an E3 visa, which expires in about four weeks. I want to apply for a renewal now. I understand the renewal process can take 3-6 months – is that right? If so, can I continue to work for my current employer while the renewal process is underway, even after my E3 technically expires? And can I leave the country before the renewal comes through?

    Or is it better if I just go to Canada for a few days and get a new E3?

  11. Hi all, seems to be a lot of ‘R’ words floating around which could mean different things… I’m speaking specifically of ‘renew’, ‘reissue’, and ‘returning’.

    In some of the comments the term ‘E3R’ is being used to denote a ‘renewed’ E3, but on the DS-160 forms this is a ‘returning’ visa… I assume these are different things (renew suffering from ‘if you leave the country on it you can’t get back in’ while return just means you’ve done it before and you get your full validity of two years etc). But I’m guessing here…

    By the way, if you are applying for for second E3 since your current one is expiring soon, do you put your current USA residence (where I am now) or your Australian resident (where you live in Australia/when you’re applying)? I guess also entering Australia should we be indicating ‘residents returning’ or ‘returning temporarily’ (on one hand it’s indicating intent, but on the other there’s never a guarantee of being issued a second E3 so not sure which is right?).

    Thanks everyone! Great helpful group (and site!)

  12. Hi there,

    Firstly, fantastic website – very, very helpful & clear to understand so thank-you!

    I am enquiring about the timing of Visa renewal. My current E3 visa expires on November 10th, 2015. Does this mean that I have to leave the US & get my E3 renewal appointment prior to the 10th OR can I work until the 10th and then on say the 24th leave and go to London or Canada & get my E3 renewed (even though it will have technically expired by 15 or so days) and then use the renewal to reenter and continue work?

    Basically I want to know if I can renew an E3 visa two weeks after it has technically expired. Please let me know the timing constraints etc. I am planning to the leave the country and not apply for renewal whilst staying in the US.

    Many Thanks in advance,


  13. Hi Great info. We have renewed our e3 three times and extended once. We now are heading to Calgary Canada to renew again. Is this a good option, or should we go to Ottowa? Trying for Vancouver – but seems to be tricky getting an apt there sadly.

    Also, as the consulate holds you passport during processing, can we fly within Canada without passports, using only US drivers licence? Air Canada seems to be OK – but I would say they would ask about passports upon presentation of US drivers licence?

  14. Hi CJ,

    Great site – have used it many times in the past.

    My question is in regards to an early renewal of an E-3. This is my second E-3 and first time renewing it. It doesn’t actually expire until August 11th 2015 but I have a trip to Oz in March. I was hoping to get organised early and renew it when I am back.

    I have an approved LCA from my employer with the renewal period of employment carrying on from my previous period. Aug 11th 2013 – Aug 11th 2015 was the original two years, and the renewal period is Aug 11th 2015 – Aug 11th 2017.

    My question is, if i go for a renewal in Melbourne and they update my visa, will the new ‘start date’ on my visa be August 11th, 2015 and therefore when I try and re-enter after my visit in March it will be outside of that 10 day grace period for a new visa start date?

    I know how simplistic dealing with these administrative issues within the States can be, so I am just weary of a someone not understanding that the aug 11th date is the renewal period and not a new start date.

    Thanks in advance.


  15. Hi,

    Always brilliant content on this website!

    Just wondering, if I have previously been denied a Visa, am I able to renew/extend the E3 Visa that I am currently on without leaving the US? (this is my 2nd E3 Visa, but I would like to renew/extend it for the same job)


  16. Hi CJ,

    I have a quick question related to the E3 spouse EAD. can we apply for new EAD along with E3 renewals.

  17. Hi,

    Great website, very helpful! I wondered if you could help. I have just had my E3 renewed within the US by USCIS, but would like to travel internationally so need a new E3 stamp. I was thinking of going to Ottawa to get this.

    Do you know of the process I need to follow to get this done? Everyone else seems to have gone down the consular track for E3 renewal, and if I have to go through the consular process again just for the visa stamp then I don’t see what the point of USCIS approach was.

    Very confused – any help greatly received.

    Thanks Simon

  18. Hi CJ,

    My E3 renewal is due by Mid next year.
    I have a plan to renew from Ottawa consulate by staying few days there.
    My question is how soon I can visit US conuslate in Canda? Can I go 6-8 months in advance as I have travel plans.

    or Can I go through the USCIS process in advance ?

    Your response on this will help me to plan ahead of time.


  19. I have an E3 visa that I renew ever two years at Christmas. This year it expires on 29/12/2015 and I arrive home on 19/12/15. There are currently no appointments available and I read that I am eligible for the mail in renewal. I am thinking this is my only option. My question is what is the mail in process time?

  20. 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) in a few weeks and would like to renew/extend the visa then while I’m there for another two years, as I don’t know when the next time I’ll be able to get overseas will be. I know it’s quite early to be renewing it, however the timing works out for me at the moment so I thought I’d do it now.

    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 though:

    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 in a couple of weeks and really need to figure out the best way to handle it and get my DS-160 submitted.

    Thank you so much!


  21. I recently changed my Employer and applied for in-mail E3 at Melbourne (since the interview wait time was 1month). From the time they received my application it took 5 working days to get my passport back in my hand.

  22. I’d like to find out how to get someone with an E-3 visa kicked out of the system and subsequently shipped back to Australia.

  23. Hi CJ,

    Great site! I’m a bit at a loss. We employ an Australian but this last year she had to move back to Australia for personal reasons. We have had her working remote and now her E3 is expiring. Our immigration attorney advised us that she must be primarily in the US to obtain the renewal as well as our accounting department is concerned about providing benefits as she is now back in Australia. Any recommendations – we are a small company and do not have a global workforce nor ability to support that?

    Thank you,

  24. hi,
    My husband currently has an E3 and I have an E3D (these dont expire for another year, though his job ends in July 2016). I have recently applied for and got a teaching fellowship at the local liberal art college. Can I transfer from an E3D to an E3 without having to leave the USA? Do I just go through the same process as we did to get the original E3 plus E3D (we have two kids as well.


  25. In your reply message to Anon, you mentioned that first time E3 Visa should be done at home country. I am already working in USA on E3 Visa and I may change my current company soon. I am not thinking of transferring E3 visa (which is difficult) rather apply new (which seems a bit easier with new LCA). I am thinking to apply my next E3 from Canada and not from going all the way to home in Sydney. So will I be consider as first time E3 in this scenario ?

  26. Hi there

    I’m hoping I can get some advice as I’ve been searching the web to no avail! I’m currently on a E3D visa my husband is the visa holder. His company is renewing the visa for a further two years. The applications for renewal were placed through immigration lawyers but had to be revoked as he had to travel back to Australia for an urgent family matter.

    He now has been suggested to leave and renew his visa in Canada. He plans to do this mid July. My visa expires 19 August 2016 my i94 says I’m allowed in the country until 19 September 2018.

    My question is if my husband has his visa approved, can I apply for a renewal (consulate apt) in Canada just before my visa expires (17 or 18 August?), I actually have a 3.5 work trip planned in Canada from 21 August so it could be perfect timing.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  27. My E3 visa expired last month and for the last few months I have not been living in US but it looks like I am heading back to the US in four month to live again – with the same employer. Can I just apply for a renewal or do I need to start process again from beginning?

  28. Hi CJ,

    Great website. I have a couple of quick (hopefully) questions.
    My husband and I are moving to NY asap. He has a new job waiting for him in NY and he already has a H-1B visa that was given to him 18 months ago through his job in the UK where we both currently live. We are both Australian citizens and I am also a UK citizen. We’ve been looking at getting me the H-1B dependent visa (H4) and then the EAD so I can work but it looks like it will be easier if I get the E3 dependent visa.
    Our plan is for him to go the the US this week and apply to transfer his H1B to an E3 visa. Is this a difficult process? and is this something he can do in the states?
    The plan for me is to head to Australia this week and once he’s transferred visas apply for my E3-D visa. Which seems the fastest and easiest option.
    What are you thoughts on this?

    Kind regards

  29. Hi CJ

    I am in a different situation with respect to the E3 visa

    I initially came through a company in 2014 and before it got expired i extended my E3 through the same employer and got extended.

    After few months of that extension I have moved to my Vendor and continuing in the same project and went out to mexico to get stamped on new employer(Vendor company were i moved to).

    After I came back to USA with new visa my old employer and this vendor company is having a contract where the vendor company should not recruit me directly and my old employer threaten tis vendor company and this vendor company said they are not ready to hire me but can continue in the same project through my old employer .

    But my old employer wants me to go for new stamping of visa on his company name which I have to agree and went for consular interview in Ottawa, Canada.

    The VO officer handed me 221(g) and the status now is administrative processing and said i will be getting an email .She returned my Passport to me back and took only my offer letter given by my old employer.
    After 1 week i got mail asking for my end client supervisors contact details which I have submitted. its been already 2 weeks and no response from the department. I kept on sending mails and calling them but still no response.

    My wife and my kid are still in USA and struggling and i am in canada from past 2 weeks.

    My question is as i am having my passport with me and had a valid USA visa for next 2 years and valid I94, can i go back to USA using that valid visa and come back when my administratve processing is cleared.?

    Can i come back to ottawa consulate in canada when they ask me to come back and submit my passport.

    Please help me in this case as my wife and son are struggling back in USA and they need me immediately to be there.

    Please reply me with your suggestions


  30. Hi, I have applied for mail-in application in Sydney since I am eligible. I am actually changing employer this time and need a new E3 Visa stamp. Do you have updates on how long it takes to received the visa from the time the application is mailed? Thanks.

  31. Hello,
    I’m renewing an E-3 visa with no changes to employment and answer yes to all the above statements to qualify for mail-in renewal within Australia. Have you heard anything about processing times for this?

  32. G’day – I’ll use dot points to keep it short.

    1. E3 expires in 5 days
    2. Renewal petition submitted with certified LCA, I-129
    3. My renewal petition was received July 19, 2017 and I got a receipt number
    4. The renewal is being processed in VT (website says processing from April 2017

    I’ve got a business trip to Europe on 20 Sept.

    Q – If I leave the US on 20 Sept could I get the visa renewed, say in Dublin, even if the petition application is not completed?

    I presume not – and therefore would need to stay outside of the US until the petition for renewal was accepted. Or cancel my trip until the renewal is granted.

    MY lawyer told me I have 240 days grace period for the application to be completed or any disputes to be dealt with.

  33. Hi, My E3 visa expires soon on 2nd march 2018 and I’m wondering if my existing employer files for I-129 within the expiry date of my E3 visa, can I still work while its being processed or do I have to wait until its approved.

    The confusion really is, there is 240 days work permit, if working for the same employer when I-129 is being processed, does this apply to E3.

    Thanks Heaps

  34. 2018-05-09:

    Posting my E3R ‘Mail-In’ Application experience so others might know what to expect:
    This was done in April/May 2018, with the US Consulate in Sydney.

    1. 04/25 WED – Application for Visa with Mail-In Option submitted at 10:00. (This is meant to be submitted when you are within your Consulate District)
    2. 04/30 MON – Express Post Envelope Recieved. (No signature required, they simply left it at the door). [Wait time: 3 Business Days]
    3. 05/01 TUE – Toll arrived to pickup delivery at 16:23 (Must be waiting at address 1pm-5pm). [Wait Time: 1 Business Day]
    4. 05/08 TUE – Notification and Delivery of Documents.*** [Wait Time: 5 Business Days]
    5. 05/09 WED – Documents picked up from Toll Depot. [Wait Time: 1 Business Day]
    6. 05/09 WED – Discovery of approval/denial from delivered documents.

    Total Wait Time for E3R: 10 Business Days (from Visa submission to Passport recieval).


    ***EXPANDING ON ‘#4’ (the notification and delivery of documents).

    Dealing with #4 was a bit annoying. The Consulate uses the terribly incompetent Toll Priority service, which you should buffer for when planning. The consulate does not send notifications. The Consignment number is new and different to your mail-in application, so you won’t know what it is. Toll emails a ‘Shipping Notice’, but this can occur after the attempted delivery.

    ( Reminder: The consulate wants an address where you, or someone with a government-issued photo ID will be Monday-Friday 7am-6pm. )

    In my particular case:
    4A. 05/07 MON – Checked the Consulate status of my passport, still No Status Update.
    4B. 05/08 07:00 – Awake.
    4C. 05/08 09:34 – Saw a 09:32 email from Toll that a package ‘has been dispatched from US Consulate General on 08 May 2018’.
    4D. 05/08 09:36 – Went outside to check mail to find a ‘Sorry we missed you’ card for 09:04. As in 4B; The driver made no evident attempt to knock, or contact through phone numbers. A call to Toll confirms that drivers don’t typically attempt to call.
    4E. Calling Toll was unhelpful. However, now there’s a consignment number, one can actually track the package. Turns out Toll quietly picked it up at the consulate 05/07 14:18. ¬_¬
    4F. Decided to wait for Toll to deliver package to Depot end-of-day, and then pick it up the next day. This seems like the best bet from the countless reviews of Toll’s missed deliveries ( https://www.productreview.com.au/p/toll-priority.html ).

    Regarding #4: If you’re trying to be efficient, I advise checking the Consulate website regarding your passport, 3 times a day (morning, midday, eve). (Both these websites will give the same information: https://cgifederal.secure.force.com/ , http://www.ustraveldocs.com/au/au-niv-passportretrieve.asp ). They will either say A. “There is no status update available for the passport number submitted” or B. “Passport has been received from the consular section, and is currently being processed for delivery”.

    From others’ stories; there is also no guaranteer that Toll will email/text/call you nor leave a ‘Sorry we missed you card’ at your address – so it is best to check the Consulate site periodically. This applies to if you’re doing a mail-in option or a consulate interview, as Toll is always used currently to return your passport.

  35. Thanks for starting this thread. I’m trying to figure out some information regarding renewals and expiration dates. If my visa expires December 14th, 2018, do I need to renew before then? Or is it possible to renew it on, say, the 20th of December whilst still maintaining employment with my current company? Provided that I leave the country on the 13th or so of course. There isn’t a lot online about this but any info you can provide would be much appreciated!

  36. Hi CJ –

    Thank you so much for this post – has been very helpful.

    I have a question on the E3R. I will be renewing my E3 visa with a new employer. When submitting my DS-160 application, should I select the E3R? Would love to hear your thoughts!

    Thank you!

  37. Thanks to Hunter W – 🙂

    My Sydney mail-in experience –

    Business Day 1: Landed Oz
    Business Day 2 – 2:00 AM: Submitted application, paid the fees online & requested for mail-in satchel.
    Business Day 2 – 2:00 PM: Mail from ustraveldocs.com with Toll tracking reference
    Business Day 4 – 1:00 PM: collected the mail-in satchel from Toll collection point
    Business Day 4 – 4:30 PM: Toll collected satchel
    Business Day 5 – 9:00 AM: Toll delivered satchel
    Business Day 6: No updates
    Business Day 7: No Updates
    Business Day 8 – 11:00 AM: Status at https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx – Application received
    Business Day 9- 11:00 AM Status at https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx – Administrative Processing
    Business Day 10- 11:00 AM: Status at https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx – Issued
    – 12:00 AM – Toll Shipment created
    – 2:30 PM – Toll Picked up
    – 2nd Weekend – SAT – 5:15 PM: ustraveldocs shared the tracking reference by email

    Business Day 11 – 10:30 AM: Received the Passport from Toll

    ~ Bon Voyage !

  38. Hi CJ

    I am due for a renewal soon. My original E3 went through administrative processing, should I expect the same thing to happen with the E3R Renewal ?

    Thanks for your help,

  39. Can someone please clarify what the letter explaining your travel purpose and itinerary is for renewing an E3 visa in the mail in Australia. is this simply your flight itinerary from the airline and letter explaining why you are coming to australia to renew the visa?

  40. With Covid pandemic, all travel to Australia limited to australian citizens repatriating (and even that is difficult) due to weekly caps into Australia,
    I am wanting to renew my E3 visa stamp in my passport without returning to Australia.

    Your information states….
    “So if you could answer yes to all those question you may be eligible to the E3 Visa Renewal and Reissue without attending the US Consulate Interview. It should be noted that you have to present within your designated Consular district within this time and you have to mail the application from Australia and not from the US.”

    What is the designated consular district mean?

    You then go on to day….
    “There isn’t any word on the processing time of all this but if they could legitimately receive an application you posted on Monday, on Tuesday. Then take 24 hours to review and to the E3R E3 visa renewal in you passport and mail it back to you by Thursday or Friday that same week, then it could definitely be worth it. However if it takes much longer than this period to process that could effect many people’s plans so we will report back as we find out more and look forward to your feedback and experiences with this process.”

    To whom do you send your passport? so eventually the stamp in the visa will be updated meaning one is permitted to leave and re-enter the US freely.
    Is that correct?

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