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E3 Visa 2011 Common Questions Answered

We have published an exhaustive list of information about the E3 Visa for Australian nationals as referenced again below which covers process, costs, FAQs, employers, interviews, etc. but we still get endless questions every day. I am sorry that over the last 12 months we can’t respond to individual emails anymore but that is solely due to the sheer volume of questions which more often than not are long and detailed.

It was always our hope that this site would turn into an dynamic community where everyone could help each other in their US Immigration journey and that those who have progressed further can help those that are newer to the process. We thought that we would today answer some of the most common questions we have been asked in 2011 here in the hope that it will spur further discussion and aid to those who are looking to live and work in the US.

1. What are the Supporting Documents To Take To the US Consulate Interview?

In most cases if your company has been running for a while or sponsored foreign workers before and/or your job is without question a professional position that requires a bachelors degree, then the minimum required documents will be fine. Although it is always good to have other docs in reserve if you have it. These documents include the approved LCA (labor condition authorization from the Department of Labor), Letter of Offer from the Employer and DS-160 form copy and back up photos. You need an LCA for each company/job you would like E3 authorization for. At times it can also be good to have copies of your University Degrees and if you anticipate issues a transcribed copy of your academic and work qualifications to mark it as an equivalent to a US degree.

2. Can I Work Part Time on the E3 Visa, Do I Need Multiple E3 Visas & What Do I Need To Be Paid?

You can work part-time on the E3 Visa as long as it still meets the other criteria like Specialty Occupation. Each of the employers need to be listed on your E3 Visa stamp in your Passport with an approved LCA for each position. The minimum pay required has to meet the criteria for the position you are applying for in the city in which you are working. This is roughly equivalent to the average salary for a US worker in that role in that area and is checked on the US Government database and Salary Area.

3. Can I Start A Business (or transfer my business) on the E3 Visa?

In short you have to be sponsored by a US employer so you cannot start a sole trader business or transfer your Australia business to the US. There is potential if you US partners and an incorporated US entity that sponsors you as an employee that you could be eligible for the E3 visa but the company will most likely be checked in both LCA phase and US Consulate interview phase to determine its legitimacy and of course the role still has to meet the Bachelors Degree and Specialty Occupation conditions.

4. If I Don’t have a University Degree, Do I Have A Chance To Get The E3 Visa?

This is an interesting question and one which we try to answer below in the Bachelors Degree post. In short it becomes a lot more difficult. Given a US undergraduate Degree is 4 years and the rough equivalent is that 3 years of work experience is deemed to equal one year of study, a rough rule of thumb is you need 12 years of work experience specifically in your eligible profession. This has potential to be somewhat mitigated if you have some other higher education qualifications but ultimately this is at the complete discretion of the US Consulate officer in the location where you apply. Also again the job you are applying too has to have a bachelors degree as a minimum criteria for hiring which precludes many occupations like trades, hospitality, hair/beauty stylists, manual labor, etc. So in summary yes it is possible but is a lot more difficult and is really a route for those who have a significant number of years of work experience and who are applying for the same type of specialty job in the US.

Our E3 Visa Resources:

E3 Visa General Information
E3 Visa US Consulate Interview
Transfer to an E3 Visa from another US Visa
E3D Visa – spouse and dependent visa for the E3 Visa
Step by Step Guide to your E3 Visa
Social Security & Healthcare while on the E3 Visa
Getting a job on the E3 Visa
Explaining the E3 Visa to an employer
Going to a Green Card from the E3 Visa
How much does the E3 Visa application cost?
Extending, Renewing or Changing Employers on the E3 Visa
E3 Visa Renewal without US Consulate Interview
How Does the E3 Visa Differ from the H1B visa
E3 Visa Job Information
E3 Visa Employer Database (exclusive)
E3 Visa Bachelors Degree and Specialty Occupation conditions explained
E3 Visa 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

Good Luck.
CJ

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E3 Visa FAQs & Myths

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good Luck,
CJ

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