We have so much on the E3 visa already at our main info page as well as our E3 Visa FAQ page which contains links to all major E3 visa resources on this site as well as some great tips and information.
So really this topic is already covered via the above resources but given the large amount of search volume from this query to our site more than anything else, along with many comments, we will do a brief post on the E3 visa process itself.
Step 1: Find an Employer willing to sponsor you
This is of course easier said than done but the crux of this is finding a US employer who is willing to hire you and thus sponsor your E3 Visa. The barrier to entry for this is at least less than the H-1B visa which has certain times of year associated to it, a very competitive fixed quota and large costs. However most employers will not hire someone without at least one face to face interview so there could be expense for you to achieve your goal. Note you can’t apply for your E3 visa as a new visa from within the US or transfer to it from the Visa Waiver Program. You can transfer to it from visa like the J1 Internship visa and F1 Student visa.
Step 2: Apply for Jobs At US Companies
I guess this is really interchangeable with Step 1 or indeed a subset of it. Given the important and uniqueness of this act I thought I would devote a paragraph to it. Of course for a foreigner on the other side of the earth to find a job in the US is some kind of effort and certainly requires some forward planning. Many people come to the US on the visas mentioned above like the J1 visa and F1 visa as a stepping stone to working in the US allowing them time to make contacts and attend interviews while under legal status. However many people do indeed do things like apply to jobs from Australia and then fly to the US and attend as many interviews as they can. Some good general tips are to have a US phone number on your application (i.e. via Skype), try and have a US mailing address if possible and mention visa status on their resume in explaining it to a potential employer. Of course from here the job interview and selection process is generally similar to what people may be used too but note that salary negotiations are a much bigger part of the US process and often begin right upfront. Finally ensure you understand the specialty occupation and bachelors degree provision.
Step 3: The Visa Application process
Once an employer has agreed to hire you and sponsor your E3 visa they need to file form ETA-9035(e) with the US Department of Labor. This is so they can received an approved Labor Condition Application (LCA). This is a free filing and can be done online. Essentially on this form includes details on the nature of the job, the nature of the company, a little on the candidate (i.e. you) and the salary. You should note that the salary has to meet the Department standard for the average salary for that type of role in that region of the country. You would take this document, along with an offer letter from the company to your US Consulate Interview for the E3 visa.
Step 4: The US Consulate Interview
From the link referenced above you can see a detailed account of the US Consulate interview for the E-3 visa. You can do this in other countries like Canada, UK, etc. but of course the most common tends to be at a Consulate in Australia. You should take as many supporting documents as possible including bank statements, asset ownership proof, copy of your degrees and any licenses that may be relevant to your role, etc. One of the things you need to demonstrate is the residence abroad condition. This is basically proof to the US that your ties to Australia are strong and that you intend to return home at the conclusion of your E3 visa period. The more prepared you are for this, the easier and quicker and less hassled it tends to be. You should note that you have to prepay the E3 Visa Application Fee at Australia Post prior to your interview.
So that in short is the E3 visa process but like I said read a lot of the other posts for in depth information and tips about particular aspects and how you can best navigate them.