Tag Archives: i129

Extending, Renewing or Changing Employers on Your E3 Visa

The E-3 Visa is interesting in that so much of it is undocumented fully related to change of employers, switch to permanent residency, the renewable indefinitely clause, being and working in the country legally while transfer is occurring with USCIS, etc.

However a common question we get asked is the process of renewal or extension of the E-3 Visa. To be honest, practically it seems like most people whether extended, renewing or changing employers just file a new application and get a new E-3 visa overseas. Many do it in Canada as it is close by.

The main reason being that it is more costly to apply for extension of your E-3 visa and the processing times for extension and change of employer that have to be done with USCIS and can potentially take many months. Generally it seems to take 4-8 weeks but even so that can present problems with your status in the meantime if you are not still employed.

Additionally if you have extended your visa or changed employers within the US and then leave the US to travel, you will have to go through the application for a new visa anyway to re-enter the country and thus pay all the consular costs. So it seems pointless given the short duration of the visa for 2 years to pay costs for extension only to have to pay the new visa application costs again.

There is no limit on the number of years an Australian national may hold E-3 status. Initial admission as an E-3 can be up to two years; extensions of stay are granted in up to two-year periods

E-3 beneficiaries may obtain a new period of E-3 admission at a U.S. consulate overseas, or may extend E-3 status by having their employer file an extension request with USCIS. Extension requests may be filed as early as six months before the current stay expires, and should be filed as far in advance of the E-3 expiration as possible.

As we said it is a grey area as to people E-3 status are permitted to continue working while the E-3 extension or change of employer application is processing if the current visa is expired.

Many at USCIS will tell you it works like H-1B which means you can as that is what visa the E-3 was modelled on and uses many of its terms and conditions except when specified otherwise. However others telly because it is not specifically writen anywhere this is not the case.

So your employer prepares a new Form ETA 9035 Labor Condition Application (LCA) if you are just going to do a new E-3 visa via a renewal or change employers and get a new visa.

If extending the stay through USCIS, your employer has to prepare a new Form ETA 9035 Labor Condition Application (LCA) and Form I-129. There are filing fees for the I-129 form.

USCIS sends Form I-797 Approval Notice to the employer or attorney of record as notification of the decision on the extension request.

I hope this best answers this weird part of the E-3 visa terms of operation and I wish you well in either your;
– renewal of your E-3 Visa
– extension of your E-3 Visa
– change of employer of your E-3 Visa

CJ

SPECIAL EDIT: FIND OUT THE COMPANIES THAT YOU PROBABLY SHOULD NOT APPLY TO THIS YEAR BECAUSE IT WILL BE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE FOR THEM TO HIRE FOREIGNERS ON E-3 VISAS

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Transfer to an H1B or E3 Work Visa From…

Ok this has to be one of the most common questions I get asked by everyone on this blog and is also in many of the comments I see so I thought it important to cover.

Now there are many issues with transferring and depending on the visa you want to transfer to there are different qualifying criteria so it is important to be aware  of those. I will cover this topic more in depth for specific visa classifications, particular cases like the F1 Student, J1 or H1B/E3 work visas as they tend to be the most common that people want to transfer too while still in the country.

A change of status is not automatically granted even if you qualify and the USCIS will also determine on your unique case how long to extend your visa period for even if it is granted. It is all very arbitrary sometimes but generally you will be successful if they deem your intentions to be genuine and you have not done anything wrong under your current status.

You should not that there are certain visa categories you cannot transfer from while in the US so you have no choice under these visas to leave the US to apply for a new visa.

This includes;
C Visa (aliens in transit)
D Visa (usually for flight/ship staff, etc.)
K1/K2 (fiancee visa and dependent of fiancee)
S Visa (witness or informant)
TWOV (transit without visa)
Tourist under waiver program classified when you receive GREEN I-94W form when you enter US
Also; to note;
J1 visa can’t transfer/extend if they are subject to the 2 year residency rule (unless they have followed the long government channels to get this condition revoked)
M1 vocational visa can’t transfer to F1 student visa. They also can’t transfer to H visa category where the training helped them qualify for the H visa.  ( the M visa is used for things like pilot training, etc.)

Essentially there are some other basic requirements you must meet to also change your status such as;
– Have entered the US legally
– Not have done anything in the US to immediately disqualify you from consideration
– No factor requiring you to leave the US prior to re-entry and admission under your new status (often determined by USCIS)
– You have submitted your application prior to the expiration date recorded on your I-94 form given to you and stamped/dated when you entered the US (usually stapled inside you passport near you current visa)

NB: Your passport must be valid for your entire stay of applied period for your new visa

TO BEGIN TRANSFER

You have to file form I-129 to the USCIS for the categories below and this approval for the change of status has to be approved before you can begin peforming the activities under your new non-immigrant visa category.
If you have a spouse/dependents they need to file form I-539 to change their status. It is a good idea if this is your case to file all together so they are judged at the same time. All dependents can be filed on the same I-539 form.

The is the list requiring the I-129 form filing:
E1/E2 (Treaty Traders and Investors)
E3 (Australian temporary worker)
H1B/H2A/H2B/H3 (Temporary Workers)
L1A/L1B (Intracompany Transferee)
O1/O2 (Aliens with Extraordinary Ability)
P1/P2/P3 (Athletes & Entertainers)
Q1 (International Cultural Exchange)
R1 (Religious Workers)
TN1/TN-2 (Canadians & Mexicans covered under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA))

To qualify for the visa categories below you have to file form I-539.

A (Diplomatic & Other Government   Officials, Immediate Family members, Employees)
B1/B2 (Visitors for Business or Pleasure)
E (Treaty Traders & Investors Dependents Only)
F (Academic Students & Dependents)
G (Foreign Government Officials & Certain Immediate Family Members)
H4 (Temporary Worker Dependents Only)
K3/K4 (Spouse of U.S. Citizen & Minor Child Accompanying)
L2 (Intracompany Transferee Dependents Only)
M (Vocational & Language Students and Dependents)
N (Parents & Children of Certain People  Who Have Been Granted Special   Immigrant Status)
NATO (NATO Representatives, Officials,  Employees, and Immediate Family Members)
O3 (Aliens with Extraordinary Ability Dependents Only)
P4 (Athletes and Entertainer Dependents Only)
R2 (Religious Worker Dependents Only)
TD (TN Dependents Only)

It is recommended by the USCIS to file about 60 days prior to your date on your I-94 expiring. You can still stay in the US while your case is pending even if this is beyond your expiration date on your I-94. However during this time you will be considered not under any non-immigrant status and not be able to perform any activities (i.e. study, work. etc.) until your case is approved.

To check the status of your case, you will be mailed a receipt with a number on it which you can input on the uscis.gov website to see what is happening with your application. There is a part on the website regarding how long each of the various centers take to process these applications but generally if everything is in order it can often be done in less than a few weeks.
For students there is usually some sort of early inital approval you can receive so you can begin studies at the start of a semester.

In your application you will send your current I-94 form and be mailed a new one with a new date if you are approved under your new status. If you are denied you immediately considered ‘out of status’ and legally are required to leave … although many of course decide now to illegally stay longer.

It can always be good (and at time frustrating but necessary 🙂 ) to call the USCIS in these situation so there number if you are calling within the US is 1800-375-5283

I hope this helped provide information helpful to you and let me know if you want to cover other general parts of the process.

CJ

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail