E3 Visa LCA Statistics 2014

This is definitely the most comprehensive source for E-3 visa information anywhere on the web and today we are going to answer some of the most common E-3 visa questions by showing you some never before see statistics that could help you in your journey.

The E-3 visa (along with the E-3D spousal visa) is the most common and easiest way, relatively speaking in the complex US Immigration system for Australian professionals to work in the United States. The primary E-3 visa is currently for Australian citizens only but the proposed US Immigration legislation currently stalled in the US Congress does allow provision for Irish and South Korean citizens to be eligible for a similar work visa.

There is 10,500 of these visas allocated each US Immigration year beginning on October 1st and as yet there has been no year where the E-3 supply has been exhausted in full. This is unlike the H-1B visa open to all global professionals which is often so over subscribed it has to go to a lottery soon after the application season on April 1.

As part of the E-3 Visa process, the first step includes a form that has to be filed with the US Department of Labor called ETA-9035(e) and from that you get an approved Labor Condition Application (LCA). In general this is the only form that has to be filed prior to someone going to their US Consulate interview to get their visa itself. Of course an approved LCA doesn’t guarantee an approved work visa at the consulate or even entry into the US itself after getting a visa. However it is a mandatory step and in most cases means you are well on your way.

The LCA itself once verified confirms a few things including the company you are being employed and sponsored by, the wage being paid to you being equal to or greater than the prevailing wage, the location where you will be working and the role and location of employment itself. There are a couple of other minor things like how many other foreigners are on the workforce, company size and possibly some tax information but essentially this is the nature of what needs to be proved.

The most common reason for denial include not filling in the form completely and correctly, the company having no verifiable history, the job itself not meeting the specialty occupation standard, the level of wage not being at least the prevailing wage which is a level of pay equal to the average salary paid to a US citizen for the same role type in that area or the company being in bad standing with US authorities.

Figure 1: LCA Status Results

Above is the result over the past 12 months of submissions for an LCA. Firstly you can see the total is far below the 10,500 annual quota. However the most important numbers to note are the 80% that are approved and the 12% that are denied. The reason why an application might be withdrawn either before or after approval could be numerous but usually because the position is no longer being offered or changed their mind on the candidate or the candidate themselves decided not to pursue. There is no official data as to why things are denied but the main reasons we gave earlier.

Another common question we get is how long does it take to process (either approve or deny) these applications given job start times, US Consulate interviews and flight arrangements hinge on this document being ready. You can’t schedule, let alone attend, a US consulate interview without this approval as you get a confirmation number which you need to fill out your DS-160 form that is required to schedule your US Consulate interview online.

Figure 2: Approved LCA Processing Times

Above you can see in 98% of cases where the LCA has been approved it has been done within 1 week which is the general guideline for how long the submission takes to process at most times. There are periods say in the latter part of March where guidelines say it may take longer due to the heavier volume because of H-1B visa but because the E-3 visa has no specific time period, applications are processed year round.

Figure 3: Denied LCA Processing Times


In the cases of denial you can see 90% is known within 5 business days and even 50% is already known with 3 days of submission. That tends to suggest a lot of the denials come from missing information in the application or automatic denial criteria like prevailing wage level. If you receive a denial you can resubmit with corrected or new information if appropriate.

Some other interesting points of note from the E-3 Visa LCA applications include;

  • 92% specify the visa length for the maximum period of 2 years and further 2-3% go very close to that period. The next most common period is around 1 year.
  • 61% of applications specify the employment start date within 1 month of the original LCA submission date. Now what is interesting about this is that it takes on average 4-7 days to get an approved LCA and only then can you do your US Consulate interview which can take time to get an appointment date and then once approved takes about 2-3 days to receive in the mail. So in general all this means most people and their US employers want to start working as soon as possible but often they will be starting after the date specified, which is perfectly OK.

34 thoughts on “E3 Visa LCA Statistics 2014

  1. Hi, I have had my LCA approved for my E3, but have hit a hitch filling out my DS-160. The question that asks for an address where I will be living in the US is my problem. Currently I do not have an address as I will be staying in a hotel for a few days when I arrive from Australia, and then most likely airbnb places until I find a permanent apartment. What should I list? Can I write TBA, will that suffice with an explanation at the embassy interview? Help! Thanks, Jo.

  2. Jo you could put your initial hotel address and that would be fine. It is not unreasonable that it would be your temporary accommodation prior to finding a permanent apartment and would be a common situation for most applicants.

  3. Hi CJ,
    Are you able to clarify whether the 2 years that the visa is valid for begins when the LCA is approved, or when your visa is approved? The first time around my LCA was approved in November and my Visa was issued in December. This time I am heading back to Australia in November and want to plan ahead of time, but will this mean that if I apply for he LCA in June, then my 2 years will end in June 2016 or November 2016. Any help appreciated

  4. Lara the E-3 visa you get at a US Consulate will have an issue data that is on or after the date on the approved LCA which is the approval data of your visa. If your LCA is for period June 2014 to June 2016 and you got your E-3 visa in November then your visa expiry date would be June 2016. However generally you only would get an LCA a maximum of 60-90 days prior to a visa application as otherwise they may not deem it valid. The only time this would not be the case is if you did a renewal of your E-3 status within the US and then later got a E-3 visa if you left the country to get back in.

  5. Thanks for clearing that up CJ. The only reason I was hoping to do it earlier was to lessen the stress of cutting it tight before my trip home, but I will just have to deal with it I guess!

  6. Hi again,
    I was just reading over the LCA that my lawyer submitted in 2012, and it says that ‘determination date’ is 11/16/12, but the certificate is valid 12/01/12-12/01/14 (the dates listed for the job starting and ending). Would this seem unusual to you, and am I interpreting it right that that means my visa was valid from December rather than November?

  7. Hi!
    I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this but my husband and i moved to the US last year on F-1/2 visas (I was the F-1). He has since got an E-3 visa and i am hoping to transfer to the E-3D. What documentation do i need to provide in my interview? Will a copy of his visa and our marriage certificate suffice? Or do i need to provide his payslips etc?
    Any info would be greatly appreciated!

  8. Roseanna if your husband has an approved E-3 visa then that will be in their system when you go for your interview to apply for your E-3 visa. So your marriage certificate will probably suffice but the more proof the better.

  9. Hi Cj,

    I am an Australian citizen currently living in Canada as a Permanent Resident. I recently applied for a job in the US and have received an offer letter and the company has filed for the LCA. Now my concern is that whether I am eligible to apply for an E3 visa living in Canada or will I have to return to Australia in order to so.

    My joining date is 2nd week of May which gives me very little time to plan a trip down under. Any info or help would be highly appreciated.


  10. I am an IT professional with 14 years of IT experience and 4 years of University full time degree. I am looking to move to USA on an E3 visa but can’t find an employer who can offer me a job.

    Can someone help in suggesting some employer preferably in New York region.


  11. Hello Neeraj Kesarwani,
    We would glad assisting you in your Job Search and Sponsorship in US as we are looking for Talented IT professionals to join us. We are a leading provider of consultants in the areas of SAP, PeopleSoft, Java, .Net and OBIEE & Salesforce.com.
    With a strong network of Implementation Partners and Clients, we always have immense demand for IT Professionals. Our consultants are placed with Fortune 500 companies and are accelerating their career in IT through us.
    I would happy providing more info on this, appreciate if you can mail in your resume and contact details with a preferred time to call.
    Looking forward to have a conversation with you.
    Manager- Recruitment
    Applied Thought Auditors and Consultants, Inc
    Email: rohit@theappliedthought.com
    Phone: 407- 574-3628
    Fax: 407-641-8184

  12. Hello,
    I was hoping you could help me with the following. I’m filling in the LCA myself and I have previously held an E3 visa. It is running out and instead of renewing it I want to apply for a whole new one, I’m also traveling to Australia to see family and it made sense to do it this way. There are a two questions on the LCA form I’m stuck on:

    1. Question B-5: For the employment start date, should this be 11/9 (since my current visa ends 11/8) – or actual start date with the employer (which was back in 2012 under a completely different visa [J1])?
    2. Question B-7: Is “B” the appropriate category: “For continuation of employment without change with the same employer”

  13. I have an E-3 Visa which is valid till September 2016 ( it has been renewed once 4 months ago). I would like to change my job and work for a new company, do I need to get a new E-3 visa to be able to start the new job or only getting a new approved petition from Labor Condition Application (LCA) is enough? how long is the process?

    is it faster if i go back to Australia and get a new E-3 visa with the new employer?

    Many thanks

  14. Hi There,

    I’m a Manufacturing Engineer (Masters Grad)with 3 yrs of Work Experience and currently looking for an E3 sponsor….. Any suggestions;

  15. Hi,
    I am an IT consultant / IT business analyst looking for opportunities in the US. How easy/difficult is to get a sponsor for the E3 visa?

    Any specific job sites that I can look up for companies who can sponsor?


  16. Hi CJ,
    I am about to head over to the USA on an O3 visa (my husband is the O1) and am in the process of securing a job based in the USA, and am hoping to swap to an E3 visa.

    I have two questions for you if you dont mind:

    1) I am concerned about my experience not meeting the criteria of 12 years experience instead of a degree. I didnt go to Uni, however have been working since I was 17.
    The role/ industry I am planning to work in kin the USA, I only have 4 years experience however previous jobs (that arent related in industry) have transferable skills (like people management/business management) and also trade certificate however again its not related to the current industry.
    Would they take this experience and skills into consideration?
    The role I am going for is definitely a specialty occupation and there is also a link to a previous employer I work with here in Aus. (The USA company and my old company are affiliate partners)

    2) As ill be in the USA within 2 weeks, I’ll likely learn about the offer of this job when I am already in the USA. Is it possible to swap from an O3 visa, to an E3 visa without having to leave the USA?
    If so, what requirements are usually required to do this?

    Thanks for you advice in advance!

  17. Hi CJ,

    This is a fantastic website. I have just been offered a job here and provided my details including my passport so that they can submit the paperwork to get the LCA.

    One minor issue is I have lost my passport. I can get a temporary one to get me back to Australia and then have a new one issued.

    Can my employer still process the paperwork to obtain the LCA or do I need to get a new passport and submit everything again?

    If I do – can/should I immediately return to Australia and have my employer mail/email my Letter of Offer and LCA?



  18. My boyfriend’s employer submitted his LCA on April 6. It’s nnow May 4 and the online icert still says it’s in process. This wait seems longer than everyone led us to expect. does this mean there is a problem – or is there any thing we can do to find out more?

  19. Hi,
    I filed LCA for E3 visa and it was denied after 5 days due to prevailing wage error. The employer corrected the error and submitted the LCA again and it has been 7 days since the correction was made, so in total 12 days. Should I wait longer for approval or submit a new application? Any information would be appreciated.
    Thank you.

  20. Hi Coach,

    I currently hold an E3 VISA and am working for a Californian company.
    However, I am considering moving to Texas to carry out the same work for the company remotely. My work involves consulting for medical businesses and I work out of home and on site at clients offices anyway, and we don’t require a physical presence in Texas.

    So do you think I would need a new LCA? Even though the business is still based an operating in California with all the other staff, and it’s just me physically going to Texas perhaps for 5-6 months to start with.

    Any advice is much appreciated.


  21. Hi,
    I am applying for an E3 visa in Melbourne.
    My wife and daughter are in India at the moment. Can they apply for the E3D in India after my approval or do they have also to come to Australia to get the E3D?

  22. Cj,
    I have been offered a job as a head assistant college basketball coach in the U.S at my alma mater where I played under a basketball scholarship. I am an Australian citizen. They school used a lawyer for all my paperwork (LCA, letter of employment, degree, lawyer documents, supporting documents etc..) and I have everything ready for my consulate interview on Tuesday. My only concern is that I have a degree in Communications and that it may not be relevant to the occupation in their eyes. Even though it is completely relevant. What do you reckon my chances are of getting approved for E-3 visa?


  23. Hi CJ,

    I want to apply for an E3 visa for 4 months (one academic semester) as a graduate teaching fellow in the US.

    Do you know the minimum E3 visa length that can be issued?

    Thanks so much for all of the information on this site, it is very helpful!


  24. Hi CJ,

    My wife has applied for partner visa, off shore. And I will be applying for E3 visa soon, once I receive my LCA and offer letter. If she applies for E3 dependent visa will this affect her partner application. Does the E3D time count in partner visa too. Does E3D count in the temporary residency ( the time spent together with your partner for 2 years to get PR)?

    Means does the time spent on E3D in USA count in temporary residency.

  25. Hi,
    I am on the E3 visa and am about to transfer jobs. My husband is on the E3D visa. what will that mean for him. Will be still be able to work while this process is taking place or does he have to wait the 3 month period like he did last time

  26. My visa was denied (due to prevailing wage issue and not counting commission as part of salary). I am still working for the same company etc how quickly can I reapply and is there a risk in applying again?

  27. Hello,

    My E3 Visa is being held for ‘Administrative Processing’ in Vancouver because on the LCA my lawyer specified it was a ‘New Employment’, even though I have been working for the company and this is my 4th Visa with them.
    My Lawyer says that every E3 is basically a ‘New Employment’ when you are applying outside of the country. All my previous applications were identical but the VO seemed unconvinced that we didn’t specify it was a continuation of previously approved position.

    He was checking with his supervisor but now I am freaking out.
    Was my lawyer correct, is it technically a ‘new employment’ if you apply outside the US (rather than the lengthy process of renewing / extending within the US).


  28. Hi guys!
    For my application I have been asked for my entire woking history over the past 10 years. I had to fabricate some dates, as some of the companies I worked for do not exist anymore and to find out actual dates would be bigger then ben hur. Will this be a problem??

  29. Hi I have already got my E3 visa and now want to relocate my spouse and kids and have applied for E3D visa (I meant I have submitted DS160 form for them about two weeks ago and waiting for an interview call, but just realized that I have not visa fee for them.Please advise how much I have to pay for my wife visa fee and do I need for my kids as well?

    Also, can I use same login ID to pay for her visa in ustraveldocs.com/ that I have used when I applied for E3 visa?

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