Tag Archives: e3 visa time

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.)