E3 Visas

The E-3 Visa is currently a working visa that is exclusively for Australian citizens to work in the US for 2 year stints but renewable indefinitely. There is a push for an E-3 type visa for Irish and South Korean citizens, however that is still pending. It has many of the same characteristics of the H-1B working visa with some important different differences around length, renewal, spousal working ability and dual intent with Permanent Residency.

Here are some more in depth articles from The Visa Coach about different aspects of the E-3 visa experience to help you.

123 thoughts on “E3 Visas

  1. Hi there,

    I am looking to go to the US to look for work. I’ll be applying for a standard 90 days ESTA visa but having read about the B1 visa, i’m wondering which is best. IS it difficult to get on a B1 visa?

    Do you need an exit ticket on the B1 visa also, when entering the country?

    I know i’ll need an exit ticket to get my ESTA visa. I was thinking to just buy and forfeit a flight to Canada (or anywhere that’s cheap really) but if i have a flight that goes one way to Canada, will that pose a problem getting my ESTA? Otherwise, can you suggest any other country i can buy a one-way ticket to where it won’t be an issue. The plan is to look for work in the 90 days, and if it doesn’t happen, i’ll buy a ticket back to Australia.

    Hope that makes sense.

  2. Hi Chris,

    Firstly I commend you on a very well informed site on US VISAS.

    I am wanting to work and obtain an E3 Visa.

    My degree I have is in Marketing and PR. My question is if i find a sponsor and an employer who grants me entry into the US do they need to document or report my wage or how many hours I am working? Or do I need to do this?

    If I have 2 jobs on the E3 is it enough to report from the primary job who offers me more hours? Or is this not necessary at all?
    Is the requirement from the initial application form consisting of the LCA from the employer who has offered me a job as well as sponsorship.
    Does the employer typically have to be the one who sponsors as well as offering you a job? By this I mean can you have a sponsor aside from the employer offering you a job?
    I hope I don’t sound silly asking these questions but I am quite foreign to the E3 application and I want to be thorough prior to applying and starting the process.

    Finally, could I find a job in my field of Marketing for example in a department store, photographic and advertising studio or for a barbershop/hair salon chain?

    Many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you soon.



  3. Andrew read this https://visacoach.org/2010/01/15/e3-visa-process/ around E-3 visa process but yes noting salary and level of employment is part of process for employer. Every job you have on E-3 visa has to have a separate certification and is noted on the approved E-3 visa itself. Only the employer paying your wages can sponsor your E-3 visa. In terms of the type of jobs you could be eligible for just read this; https://visacoach.org/2009/05/22/e3-visa-the-bachelors-degree-specialty-occupation-conditions/

  4. Lilian you don’t need an exit ticket on the B-1 visa but they still might ask you about that at the border b/c you will still have to leave after 3 or 6 months depending on the term of any one entry. You have to apply at the US Consulate for the B-1 visa. The US do not consider going to Canada (or Mexico) and re-entering the US as a restarting of your single entry period with the ESTA. Countries like Canada generally also don’t look kindly on one way tickets unless you have a valid visa to stay there.

  5. Hi Chris, Many thanks for a comprehensive website. Do you have a section on your website regarding freelance work under the E-3 visa (apologies if I missed this)? Specifically I would like to find answers to: Does an umbrella, or other, “anchor” company exist in the US who employs people with E-3 visas from the arts/media world who can then operate in a freelance capacity (as happens in IT and finance)? If not, do you know of any other ideas/avenues in which I could set myself up to work in a freelance/contract way under this visa? With thanks in advance

  6. Nina freelance or contract work is not really the intention of the E-3 visa criteria. Yes there are cases where this happens particularly in IT but it is strictly speaking not allowed any may be scrutinized more in other sectors.

  7. Hi CJ,

    Many thanks for the such an wonderful informative blog, truly appreciate!!!

    Here is my question:
    My company has filed for LCA on 25/04 and I’m still has not been certified, i’m hoping it will be done in a day or two.
    Is it mandatory to take the Original LCA/Offer letter & E-3 Visa Petition letter from employer, can I take printouts for the US consulate interview?

    Many thanks in advance.

  8. Hi there. I got the LCA certified but looking at the consulate wait times, it looks like the earliest time I will get back to the US with my visa will be after the intended start date of employment (as indicated on the LCA application). Would this pose any problems? Do I need to change my start date (ie new LCA) or can I just arrive and begin working? Say I arrive and start working a week after my intended start date, when will my visa be valid for? the week I start or the intended start date (week before).

    Great info BTW. thanks

  9. James no issue with getting into the US after the start date on your LCA as would happen all the time with visa processing. No need for a new LCA.

  10. Hi there,

    I’m Australian citizen about to embark on a one year postdoctoral exchange in the US. This is under a J1 visa which is subject to the 2 year home residency requirement.

    If I return to Australia for a short time (say for a few months) and therefore not satisfy the 2 year rule, can I still apply for an E3 given that it’s a non-immigrant visa?

  11. Hi Cj,

    Thanks for all the great information on this website. I was wondering if you had a moment to answer some questions I have. I will be graduating a double degree shortly from an Australian university and I am an Australian citizen. I spent last year studying abroad at an American University on a J1 visa, I loved every minute. I recently received word that there is a possibility that I may get a US job offer from employer relevant to my major, by word of mouth from contacts I made while I was in the US.

    I’m sure this is an unusual situation, I am unsure how to approach it. I will be a recent graduate with little industry experience and limited savings, does this look bad for a E3 visa? Does my previous J1 visa and subsequent networking somehow negatively effect my chances of getting an E3 visa? I appreciate any information or ideas you have. Thank you kindly!

  12. Hi there,

    I’m am entering the U.S. under the visa waiver with a few interviews lined up for when I land. As I have to show ongoing travel beyond the U.S. I wondered what people have done in the past regarding flights. I presume people have booked a flight back to Australia at the end of their 90 day mark through a flexible flight that would allow you to change the dates if you landed a position in that 90 day period? If so, can anyone recommend an airline to do this through and any further advice.



  13. Hi Chris,

    Thank you very much for this fantastic website. I really do appreciate the time and effort you put into this. I am currently in the US on a B1/B2 visa, and I have a job offer from an agency here. I would like your advice on a couple of things. After I have the completed LCA, I would like to schedule an E3 visa interview with the US consulate in Perth. Do you, however, think it is wise to book an online interview from here (NYC) to save time and fill DS-160 online form here, then fly back to Perth for an interview? Will this jeopardise our chance of getting a visa since B2 is technically just a tourist visa? Should all be done in Australia to be safe? I am just concerned about the whole process taking too much time!


  14. Hi CJ,

    Much appreciate your efforts to help Australian Citizens on E3 visa.

    I am about apply for LCA and I have some points that I want to clear before I apply.
    I have Bachelor of Commerce (overseas) and Master of Accounting degree (Australia) and I have been working for 4 years in Accounting and Finance. I really want to go USA on E3 visa.

    I have a employer ready and he is happy to offer me General Manager (Operation Manager) position in his Motel business. All I want to know is that is General Manager position in Motel relevant to my studies? what are the chances to approve E3 visa?
    And what would be reasonable salary for General Manager to support LCA?

    Thanks in advance.


  15. 1) Who are they always make everything effort to help me obtain jobs
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    2) I will pay for your services, for your help to me, as well as I
    would be able to assist with transport costs such as flights for
    myself if don’t have resources for me .
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    How do I register? Do I have to register online?
    Who do have the capability of doing this?
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    CAN I GET THAT THINGS? I respectfully request you to grant me.

    In advance I am thanking you for your kind attention and hope to hear from you soon.
    Best regards,
    Abraham Welday
    P.O.Box 1027

  16. Hello 🙂
    Thanks for such a great website.
    I’m currently on an E3 visa and am actually looking at moving back to Aus after seven years in the states. Do you know if it’s possible to keep US bank accounts and credit cards open if I move back? Also, could I complete my 2014 US tax return next year while back in Aus? Perhaps by using a web service like turbotax and having them deposit the return in my US account?


  17. Hey CJ

    Thanks for a terrific website – the information helped me immensely in getting my first e3 earlier this year 🙂

    Do you have any idea about what you need to take to a consulate appointment for an E3R visa? I.e. another E3 with the same employer?

    As my employer is an LLC I set up, I wanted to make sure I will be able to produce any documentation they may ask for when the time comes. I haven’t been able to find much about E3Rs online.

    Will I need an income tax return, W2, etc?

    CJ I would really appreciate any advice you may have, thanks a million! Mia 🙂

  18. Hi CJ,

    I have a degree in a Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Radiation Science) from Australia and I really would like to work in the USA on an E3 visa.

    I have a employer ready and he is happy to offer me a job in recruitment. Would this job position be applicable for an E3 visa considering my bachelors degree?

    Thanks in advance.


  19. Hi.

    My E3 got rejected today.

    I am Australian citizen as of Aug 2014. Migrated to Australia from India in 2010 as PR. My LCA from a reputed software consulting firm was approved in Dec 2014. During interview the visa officer asked me to submit updated employment letter carrying details of client name and client location (under 221(g)). He did not went into details about my education as well my australian ties (as E3 is non-immigrant visa). I have sent updated employment letter along with details of client name and client name few days ago and today recieved a rejection mail saying

    “This is to inform you that you have been found ineligible for a nonimmigrant visa under Section 214(b) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act. A denial under Section 214(b) means that you were not able to demonstrate that your intended activities in the United States would be consistent with the classification of the nonimmigrant visa for which you applied.

    While nonimmigrant visa classifications each have their own unique requirements, one requirement shared by many of the nonimmigrant visa categories is for the applicant to demonstrate that he/she has a residence in a foreign country which he/she has no intention of abandoning. Applicants usually meet this requirement by demonstrating that they have strong ties overseas that indicate that they will return to a foreign country after a temporary visit to the United States. Such ties include professional, work, school, family, or social links to a foreign country. You have not demonstrated that you have the ties that will compel you to return to your home country after your travel to the United States.

    Today’s decision cannot be appealed. However, you may reapply at any time. If you decide to reapply, you must submit a new application form and photo, pay the visa application fee again, and make a new appointment to be interviewed by a consular officer. If you choose to reapply, you should be prepared to provide information that was not presented in your original application, or to demonstrate that your circumstances have changed since that application. ”

    I have strong ties with australia

    1. Property and Bank accounts
    2. Elder brother and his family is Australian citizen and been in Australia for last 10 years
    3. My E3 application did not included my spouse and kids so more ties till they are in Australia

    My questions

    1. Are above proofs sufficient ? What else can be provided?
    2. Is is better to re-apply E3 immediately or should I wait for some time?
    3. Is it better to re-apply using same company or apply through different company (meaning new LCA)

    Any help would be highly appreciated.


  20. Hi Cj,

    Im currently trying to get an E-3 visa and something that I just can’t quite work out is if there is a minimum hours/week requirement?

    I am trying to negotiate working part time for two employers and they would really like to know the minimum hours they’d need to give me.

    Thanks for your help and also what is a fantastic website!!


  21. I am currently working a large consulting firm, when i got my E3 and LCA the location was for an in house project and located in Houston,TX now they have asked me to to do consulting in California for an external company.

    Are you allowed to do consulting for an external company while in an E3 visa?? and i am assuming i need to get my LCA updated? is there anything else i need to do from my end?

    Thanks in advance for the advice.

  22. Hi there

    I have a full time E3 visa and am looking to get a part time job at a local farm which would have me working 2-3 hours on the weekends. The role at the farm is aligned with my education and work experience, so applying for that along would not be the issue.

    I’m wondering whether anyone has ever got aa FT and PT e3 visa at the same time? I know two PT E3’s has been done…

    I have a lawyer who’s going to draft everything up for me, but wanted to make sure it was possible before I incur all the costs.

    Thanks guys!

  23. Hi,

    I am on an e3 visa and am in the last year of my second renewal (5 of 6 years). I recently got married to a U.S. Citizen. I am putting together my own permanent residency application and I want to know If/when your employment authorization is approved, can you continue with your existing job without the employer doing new paperwork? Do you need to be hired again? What are the steps here?



  24. Is an E3 visa available for part time job? Or is there a minimum or maximum hours? As I will be applying as an Interior Designer is a small companies of a one or more people or to eligible does it have to be a large company? Finally, salary is there a minimum?

  25. Hi CJ,
    I currently have an E3 part time visa (which is up for renewal in Sept 2015).
    I am looking to apply for a second part time visa in June 2015.

    Is it possible to apply for the Renewal visa early and at the same time get a new one? Advice appreciated as I am worried on the off chance they reject my second visa if I will also forfeit my current one by attempting to renew (be denied entry).

    Also if I end up going full time at one job can I still hold a part time position simultaneously?

    Thanks for the advice!

  26. I am currently on an H1B Visa for the past 6 years. My extension (for time spent out of the country) expires on July 10TH.My employed filed for an E3 Visa on May 7. Current processing times are 2 months which means I should receive news hopefully by July 7th. If i do not hear back from the USCIS by then I have been informed it would be best to leave the US before my H1B officially expires on Jult 10th and head to Australia to apply for my E3 there. Am I allowed to leave the US while an E3 is processing? Is it better to head back to Australia and reapply there? running out of time and just need to know my next move if my E3 does not get approved in time.

  27. Hello everyone ,
    i want to find out, what is the minimum annual or hourly wage for E3 visa. i had an offer from a company with 33/hr however the legal department of the company said that candidate has be minimum $86k ?? if this right ?? i doubt ??
    can someone clear this up for me please.

    Many Thanks

  28. Hi

    I have e3 visa and e3d visa, both in valid date. But I reenter U.S. With e3 visa. Now I am considering resign from the compmay. After termination shall I leave us in 10 days and then reenter with e3d visa?

  29. Hello,
    My husband is on an E3 visa due to be renewed in Jan 2016. I currently hold an EAD working for a different employer. We came here through his employer who arranged for the E3 visa and the LCA. Now if they terminate him for project unavailability, are they entitled to send us back to Australia and give us the notice or they they can just give a general one day notice and get us stuck here. Your response will be much appreciated.

  30. I have been working on a full time role on E3 and looking for a second job (Either part time or full time) to work concurrently. Is this allowed in E3 or any risks involved?

  31. Hi,

    I was hoping to find out if I qualify for the E3 visa.

    I have a job offer within the US, Executive Assistant position.

    I have certificate 2 and 3 in Business Administration and 12 years experience in the Administration field.

    The role I have applied for asked for a Bachelors Degree.

    I appreciate any assistance.


  32. Hi CJ,
    Thank you for all your great information. I have looked extensively for information regarding couples who both meet the requirements of E3’s or EB2 visas and I was hoping to get some clarity from you as you have some fantastic knowledge.

    I am currently on and E3 and my partner is on an E3D. Can your spouse apply for a EB2/3 or H1B if she is currently the E3D if she gets a job offer?

    Basically we are trying to build some security in our lives because we can’t afford to leave within a month from potentially losing the E3 Primary.

  33. Hi There,

    I need some help regarding E3 Visa. I have Diploma in Multimedia from Swinburne TAFE (Full time 2 years) & Associate Degree in Visual Arts and Design (Full time 2 years) From Australian Catholic University. I am working as a UI/UX Dev/Designer from past 5 years. I am very close to get a offer from a California company (Last round). I should have that offer by Monday. I am not sure if my qualification is more than enough or equal to bachelor degree to get me E3 Visa.



  34. Mike a spouse on E3D can be sponsored for an H-1B or EB-2 (Permanent Resident) status by their employer in the same vein as anybody else with all the same criteria and eligibility conditions applying.

  35. Rat, you cannot work a second job. It’s visa fraud. They will work it out from your tax filings, and you will be deported, and not allowed to enter the US for some years (if at all).

  36. Hi CJ,

    If I have trialled with a new company for a couple of months and my letter of employment says I have been there for 2 months already, will that affect my Visa being approved?

  37. Hi Chris,

    I have been following your sites (e3visa and visacoach) for a while now. Many thanks for sharing all the information, it is very helpful, greatly appreciated.

    I need your advice desperately.

    I am an Australian citizen (since 2009) born overseas. I have been working in IT industry since 2006, so all up I can say I have 10 years’ work experience (with bachelors and masters in IT). My brief case history is as below:
    1. My sister applied for my permanent residency in USA under F4 category in 2007.
    She also applied for my parents’ as well and my parents migrated to USA a few years back.
    2. I applied for E2 investor visa in Nov 2013 and got denial under section 214(b).
    3. In September 2014 I attempted to travel to United States to visit family only to realize that my ESTA under Visa Waiver Program has been denied, and hence I did not travel. I was advised that I need to get B1/B2 visa if I want to travel to USA.

    I have traveled to USA under Visa Waiver Program three times (and departed within the allowed stay) before I got denial for E2 investor visa.

    Very recently, I have come to realize that I have made a mistake in filling ESTA form – not disclosing previous denial.

    E3 or H1B
    As I have a prior denial for investor visa, do you advise me to go for H1B visa (dual intent) or E3 visa?
    Australian ties: I don’t have any assets or family (other than wife and daughter) in Australia to prove strong ties with Australia (even though I have lived here for more than 11 years).

    I was thinking of applying for E3 visa just for myself (not including my wife and daughter initially), if I do get E3 visa, I will then apply for my wife and daughter? Do you see any issues with this approach?
    If I get denied for E3 visa, would it have any implications for H1B visa application that I may submit consequently?

    A staffing agency based in Atlanta has shown interest to file LCA for me.
    Does E3 visa require that the sponsorer needs to be an actual employer and not a staffing agency?
    Do you see any problems with this approach ie getting LCA filed by a staffing agency?

    Do you recommend that I utilize services of an experienced immigration attorney as my case seems a bit tangled? If so, are you able to recommend any?

    Many thanks,

    Best regards,

  38. Is arriving a few weeks after your visa is valid (issued), but 3-4 days before your LCA start date likely to pose a problem?

  39. Hi How are you
    My name is Jen Jun Zhu, I am currently an E3 holder and in the process of changing my current job, I do not need to give my current employee early notices. Is this true if I can get a ‘NEW E3 LCA form’ before the 10th day after I terminate my current job, I will not need to travel outside America? I will just have to complete a transfer application?
    If that is the case can you please give me more information?
    How long will this process take?
    Will I be able to work during the waiting process?
    Thank you so much for your time!

    Best regards: Jen Jun Zhu (Cell: 646-719-3398)

  40. Amazing resource, thank you CJ.
    I had my e3 refused today. It was my first e3 and the consular officer in Vancouver said that my company had “self-certified” that a degree was needed for my job as an Urban Farmer. They said it could be that other staff members doing my job could have a lower training level than myself (I have an MSc in Agriculture). I feel my job description did not make it clear enough that a degree was needed for this job. Do you think modifying my job description would help me in a second attempt? Thanks!

  41. Hi Cj,
    My fiancé is currently applying for an E3 visa from within Australia and is due to start work early April in NYC.
    We are getting married at the end of Feb at which point I’ll be able to apply for the E3D visa.
    His employer, with the help of an immigration lawyer, is completing the application process for him. However, since we are not yet married, my visa has not been included in this process.
    I am feeling a little bit overwhelmed by the visa process. Do I just follow instructions on applying for an E3 visa to apply for the E3D? I s would like to get it all sorted as soon as possible as I would like to be able to work sooner rather than later.
    Any tips/advise you can offer would be very helpful!
    Thank you!

  42. Hi,

    My wife is on E3D and she intends to pursue M.S here in the US.
    1. Does she has to apply for a F-1 visa like any international student residing outside US?
    2. Can she apply for a change of status from USCIS like a H4 would do to change to F1?
    3. can she pursue M.S while in E3D itslef?


  43. Hi C.J, I have been working in the US for about 4 1/2 years now thanks to your fantastic website, I did all the application work for my E3 myself. Last trip was to Barbados and I was in and out of the Embassy in 20 mins, and had a fab holiday.
    Anyway a new employment opportunity has come up and I have been offered a partnership in a Business, they will sponsor me for my E3 but can I be involved as partner in a Business? Thanks for you input. Cheers Maria

  44. Hello,

    I am a Australian citizen and am working in US. My wife is an Indian citizen and also works in US with E3D visa. I (with my wife) came down to Canada to meet family and attend family function. To return to US, we needed E3 stamping to be done and hence we took an appointment with US consulate in Canada. However, my visa was cancelled on the basis of 214(b) section. My parents are in India and I have family owned property in India. I also have family in Australia as well.
    We are planning to reapply and wanted to seek your advice on how we can get a successful stamping this time.

    Appreciate your help!

  45. Hi Chris,

    I just came to USA a month back and got my SSN a week later. I Just want to know is it Compulsory for the employer to run the payroll till he finds the project for me , because when I asked him he said there is no need for E3 visa to run the payroll as the rules are not stringent.

    I am really worried because I got different answer from different persons saying that till 3 months there is no need to worry and some says till 6 months and few others says that the rule is similar to H1b and you will lose the status if not paid from day one.

    Also if I want to transfer to other employer if my current employer is not running the payroll, can I do that with USCIS without paystubs or do I need to exit the country to complete the process as new application.

    Please Help me Chris

  46. Hello. I’m trying to find information on exactly what academic documentation is needed. I am in the US and I’m applying for jobs but I forgot to bring my testamur (degree certificate) with me, and I don’t have documents. Do you think my potential employer will need these?

    Also when I apply for the visa, do I need my testamur or is an academic transcript/record sufficient?

    Also, thanks for this website. It’s been very helpful!

  47. Hello,
    I just wanted to share my E3 visa (success) story with you all to hopefully help anyone who is in the process.
    I started my job search after obtaining a B2 tourist visa, which is valid for six months, as I was traveling before job searching and I didn’t want to get an ESTA.
    A note to the wise, upon entering on the tourist visa maybe have a flight booked out of the country because if you cannot tell them when you will leave it will result in 2.5 hours in secondary questioning.
    I applied for about nine position in total and was very upfront and enthusiastic about the E3 visa process. I emailed all of the potential employers a fact sheet about the visa and how simple it is, a $0 cost to them and so on. Many employers had never heard of the visa before and were dubious about it. Luckily my current employer had done one before and knew all about it.
    After waiting an exhausting three weeks to get the LCA completed, due to the HR departments problems with their log in details, I completed a DS-160 and booked my appointment in Vacouver. Not after the website crashed and I could not complete my application and had to start again- if this happens to you just keep trying as it will come online again.
    I had read so much about where was best to do the application and for me, living in San Francisco, it was not financially feasible to return to Australia. I fretted about where to apply and my chances of being rejected for a very long time after reading so many different blog posts.
    On arrival at the US Embassy in Vancouver I was turned away by the security because my bag was to big (a handbag that could fit an A4 document inside) and had to store it across the road at sandwich store. Only bring with you the documents you need and a credit card- you cannot take in a phone, food, water, a tablet or keys.
    After going through the security screening, the initial document check and finger printing I was finally at the interview after about an hour of waiting.
    At first the offical was friendly and described my work as ‘cool’ but she became a bit short with me after saying my degree was not specially related to job I had been offered. After all my reading I was a bit taken aback as I had thought it was only a degree qualified position, thankfully she let me explain how my previous role (in which I worked for four years) was related to the current position. Phew! This was not the hurdle I had expected and I am glad she encouraged me to explain myself instead of dismissing me.
    Aside from the required documents I also bought along bank statements, documents proving my ownership of a property in Australia, most recent police check, birth certificate, UK passport and the original copy of my degree and Uni transcript. Of course they didn’t even ask for it but better safe than sorry.
    Insure you check any extra things that’s a required for different embassy’s- for example the Vancouver embassy required two US approved passport photos be provided on the day.
    So my visa was approved and processed the very next day, I was able to pick it up three days later from the post office. A big relief!
    Make sure when you pick up your passport from the post office that you have an official id, or in my case a bank statement, showing the same residence as the one of your application. They will not release the documents to you if cannot provide this.

    Moral of the story-It may seem overwhelming applying for the E3 but it is really worth it and you could be paving the way for other Austalians to also find jobs in your company in the future.
    Just do your research, have all your documents and supporting material ready to go and it will all work out!

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