Tag Archives: e3 visa application

E-3 Visa – How Long Does The Process Take?

It may be the most common question we get asked here in terms of how long does the E-3 visa process take from beginning to end and then how long do renewals and transfers of employers take. The E-3 visa has many differences to the H-1B visa in this regard, and thus there are parts that are quicker (i.e. when it comes to company getting approval for you to then apply for your visa) and then there are parts that are slower (i.e. when it comes to transferring employers b/c of the explicit lack of the portability provision).

Additionally the method by which you originally came to the US such as the Visa Waiver Program with an ESTA, the B-1 Visa or currently in the US in another capacity on the F-1 Visa for studentsOPT statusJ-1 Visa for interns, H-1B visa or some other US visa you have the possibility to go the E-3 Visa subsequently

Below we will look at the average timeline of events that you could take into account when the E-3 visa is your route to working in the US;

1. Searching for a Job (unknown but in most cases allowing yourself 3 months would be seen as prudent)

2. Job Offer & Negotiation (you might agree to be hired but to negotiate on salary + bonus, equity if any, severance and any other terms you might see as important  might take 1 week to finalize)

3. Filing ETA-9035(e) with Department of Labor (Once the document is filed electronically it takes about 7-10 days to get approval however any requests for more information can delay that and if your company is a first timer at doing it and/or slow moving legal counsel is involved this process from beginning to end can take around 3-4 weeks)

Filing I-129 with USCIS ** Optional (This is only a mandatory step when renewing an E-3 visa within the US, transferring to another employer or transfering to the E-3 visa from another US visa or status within the US.  If you are doing this with normal processing periods and assuming you have no additional requests for information the approval and resulting I-797 will come in 2-3 months. The preparing of this package and getting all the checks signed to file can take some time if done by lawyers and employers and that might add an additional 1-3 weeks before the package is even sent)

5. Applying for E-3 visa at a US Consulate (Depending on which consulate you apply at it can take be immediate up to 2 months to schedule an interview date so important to plan ahead and be aware of where you are applying and the appropriate wait times. After applying assuming you don’t go through Administrative Processing, you will usually receive your passport with visa stamp 2-3 days after your interview)

6. Commencing Work (If you are on a new E-3 visa you can commence work at any time of the year however you can’t enter the US on your E-3 visa more than 10 days prior to your employment period commencing. If you are already in the US under a legal status this does not apply.)


E3 Visa 2012 Common Questions Answered

Over the 3 and a half years that we have been live, we have published a comprehensive list of information about the E3 Visa which is currently for Australian citizens only. However we did publish a recent post earlier this year about a proposed legislation to increase the scope of the E3 Visa for Irish Citizens.

Last year one of our most popular posts with readers was answering the most common reader and support questions in our 2011 E3 Visa Most Common Questions Answered. Due to the extreme volume of emails and post support we can’t respond to all the requests for help and questions as we did back in 2009. We know you all want your questions answered and are desperate for help but we have always encouraged those Immigrants that have gone ahead and experienced the US Immigration system to come back and help others.

To make the most of our time, we continue to post regularly about all that is going on in the US Immigration System, including both Visa Information as well things going on in the political arena that could effect US Immigration. So now to help all the E3 Visa aspirants specifically we will post answers to the most asked E3 Visa Questions of 2012.

1. Is Part Time Work Allowed on the E3 Visa and What Do I Need to be Paid?

It is allowable to work part-time on the E3 Visa in jobs still classified as Specialty Occupations. If you have multiple part time employers which is also allowed, each employer must be listed E3 Visa stamp in your Passport with an approved LCA for each role. Any employer that you may be working for in addition to this would not be technically legal. The minimum pay required has to meet the average US worker hourly salary or be higher for that role type in the city in which you are working and is checked on the US Government database and Salary Area.

2. Am I allowed to apply for the my renewal E3 Visa known as the E-3R Visa prior to current visa expiry?

Yes you are and what happens is that the US Consulate who processes your renewal visa will put a Void stamp over your old E-3 Visa and note it as not due to any illicit activity.

3. What Does the E3 Visa Salary Have to Be?

As per the above you salary has to be at least the average US worker hourly salary and can be higher for that role type in the region of the US which you are going to work is and needs to be confirmed on official sources like US Government database and Salary Area.  On your ETA-9035e application you have to note your job title and salary and what source you have used for the minimum average salary for your role in your area.

4. Is it Possible to Change from the E-3D Visa for Partners to the E-3 Visa or H-1B Visa?

If your spouse is an Australian citizen as well they can transfer from the E-3D Visa to the E-3 full working visa. If they are not an Australian citizen they can transfer to the H-1B Visa. They then become an independent visa holder and not dependent on someone else’s visa status.

5. If you have a Green Card PERM Application while on E-3 Visa is it a good idea to switch to the H-1B Visa?

This is an interesting question and one which we try to answer in this E3 Visa and Green Card post. While it is not explicitly forbidden to have an open PERM application on the E-3 Visa, it is also not explicitly allowed like the dual intent provision with the H-1B visa. Hence it often happens that the E-3 visa holder will switch to the H-1B visa to prevent any off change of a future E-3 visa denial.

6. I am in the US and having no luck getting Job Interviews what should I do?

It is a difficult journey for us all and for most it takes hundreds of job applications, job interviews, many rejections, non answers and other hurdles before you get that offer but keep persevering. We have put as may posts as we can here to help you including a entire 3 post series on one person’s journey to get to the E3 Visa via the J1 visa, posts on the US Resume & US Job Interview, US Job Site and Visa Resources as well as more recent book that we published on How to Live, Study and Work in America. Also it takes time so you have to allow yourself plenty of time to get places and you should network as much as possible via things like Meetup.

7. What are the Fees for the E3 Visa and do I need a Lawyer?

There are no fees for the E-3 Visa application (except the US Consulate Interview) when applying for a new E-3 Visa because the whole process just constitutes of the ETA-9035e filing with the Department of Labor to get your LCA which is free. However if you are transferring to the E-3 visa from another visa like the J-1 Visa, F-1 Visa or H-1B visa within the US then you do have to pay the application fees for the I-129 which is $325 currently. The American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA) fee, Premium Processing Fee, Fraud Detection Fee and potential Public Law 111-230 Fee where 50% of workforce is foreign are NOT applicable as they are only for the H-1B visa.

All the best and don’t get discouraged in your journey and you will achieve your dreams 🙂

Array of E3 Visa Resources:

– E3 Visa General Information
– 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?
– 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
– 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 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