Tag Archives: us work visa

E3 Visa Top Employers & Salaries of Australians Working in the US

A few years ago we published a list of the top employers specifically for the E-3 visa and at the time it was the first and as far as I can still only list of US employers who specifically employ Australians under the E-3 visa. Last we looked at the major statistics of E-3 Visa Applications and today we are going to present an updated list of employers along with some new information including average salaries, top jobs that are sponsored as well top locations that Australians work in the US under this work visa.

If you are a regular reader you will know that we have done similar lists for the H-1B work visa which is open to all nationalities and given the data is far more vast because of the volume (approx 16x more issued annually) there is more reason to update that regularly. However the E-3 visa may be the single biggest reason people come to The Visa Coach given there are very few resources online and almost none of these are good except for a couple of personal experience blogs.

Figure 1: Top 30 E3 Visa Employers

What is interesting about the above Top 30 US employers of Australians is that they only represent 13% of all the employees. In other words there is a long tail of employers that have sponsored Australians over the last 12 months, most of which just sponsored 1 person. To be exact there were 3,285 different US employers that sponsored Australians over the last year.

In the above list you can obviously see a lot famous tech companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Apple & Facebook along with some of the major consulting and finance brands like PWC, EY, Deloitte and Goldman Sachs. There are also a couple of well known brands to Australians like Westfield and Macquarie.  In general there is a good portion of the same brands that were on the 2009 list with Microsoft still on top. However there are certainly far more technology brands in the top section than on the employer list from 5 years ago.

Figure 2: Top E3 Visa Denied Application EmployersE3VisaDenialEmployers

This is a new list and largely done as a point of warning about the US Immigration system, the application process and the potential for wasted time and money, corruption and unscrupulous players. This isn’t any commentary on any of the above organizations as I know almost none of them other than Morgan Stanley who is also a Top 30 employer and one other. However these were the top employers who had their visa applications denied for the LCA for the E-3 visa over the past 12 months and you should be wary about anyone asking for money from you in advance to help you secure sponsorship and a US work visa.

Figure 3: Top Locations for Australians to Work in US

This list is probably largely no surprise to anyone based on general desires of place to live as well the population and nature of industries and companies that Australian professionals are working for in the US. In terms of hard numbers almost 30% work in New York City and about 60% are spread across the Top 12 cities listed here covering 9 different states and the District of Columbia. The 40% other proportion covers 713 different cities and towns around the US so there is broad number of places around America that Australians are working.

An important point to note is note where the denials of applications are happening. In general these are proportional to the applications but not always. New York State (of which over 90% is for New York City) represents 30% of applications but 37% of all denials. In fact New York State has more denials (241) than all other states barring itself, California and Texas have approvals. California is the next highest with 25% of all denials versus 23% of all approvals. With 60% of all denials between these 2 states it is important to realize while the desire might be the highest to move here it also the most competitive for foreigners in general as well as Australians and thus also most prone to non-professional or worse behavior.

Figure 4: Top Jobs for Australians Working in the US
The nature of specifying a job on your ETA-9035(e) application to get your approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) for your E-3 visa is largely based on the way the prevailing wage works and the official sources of information where you can lookup this information. This is why these job titles look funny and broad in nature and may actually differ from the company job title you have that would be on a business card.

These categories in total comprise 54% of the total of all job roles on the E-3 visa over the past 12 months and the remaining 46% cover over 250 other job roles. In general IT Developers, Marketing, Senior Management and Finance roles dominate which correspond strongly with the companies that are top employers.

Figure 5: E3 Visa Salaries for Australian Workers in the US

For the approved applications over the past 12 months for the E-3 visa this was the annual salary level on the application paid to Australians. As you can see 63% of the salaries are between $50,000 USD and $150,000 USD and about 15% of the salaries are greater than $150,000.

Interestingly a couple of the very low salaries were as low as $17,000 USD and looking at the individual cases they were for farming type jobs in Georgia which would be seen to breach the bachelor’s degree, specialty occupation and prevailing wage conditions. I would guess in most cases these would be denied and may have been denied once they went for the US Consulate interview. The highest salary was one person and was $1.25M USD.

E3 Visa LCA Statistics 2014

This is definitely the most comprehensive source for E-3 visa information anywhere on the web and today we are going to answer some of the most common E-3 visa questions by showing you some never before see statistics that could help you in your journey.

The E-3 visa (along with the E-3D spousal visa) is the most common and easiest way, relatively speaking in the complex US Immigration system for Australian professionals to work in the United States. The primary E-3 visa is currently for Australian citizens only but the proposed US Immigration legislation currently stalled in the US Congress does allow provision for Irish and South Korean citizens to be eligible for a similar work visa.

There is 10,500 of these visas allocated each US Immigration year beginning on October 1st and as yet there has been no year where the E-3 supply has been exhausted in full. This is unlike the H-1B visa open to all global professionals which is often so over subscribed it has to go to a lottery soon after the application season on April 1.

As part of the E-3 Visa process, the first step includes a form that has to be filed with the US Department of Labor called ETA-9035(e) and from that you get an approved Labor Condition Application (LCA). In general this is the only form that has to be filed prior to someone going to their US Consulate interview to get their visa itself. Of course an approved LCA doesn’t guarantee an approved work visa at the consulate or even entry into the US itself after getting a visa. However it is a mandatory step and in most cases means you are well on your way.

The LCA itself once verified confirms a few things including the company you are being employed and sponsored by, the wage being paid to you being equal to or greater than the prevailing wage, the location where you will be working and the role and location of employment itself. There are a couple of other minor things like how many other foreigners are on the workforce, company size and possibly some tax information but essentially this is the nature of what needs to be proved.

The most common reason for denial include not filling in the form completely and correctly, the company having no verifiable history, the job itself not meeting the specialty occupation standard, the level of wage not being at least the prevailing wage which is a level of pay equal to the average salary paid to a US citizen for the same role type in that area or the company being in bad standing with US authorities.

Figure 1: LCA Status Results

Above is the result over the past 12 months of submissions for an LCA. Firstly you can see the total is far below the 10,500 annual quota. However the most important numbers to note are the 80% that are approved and the 12% that are denied. The reason why an application might be withdrawn either before or after approval could be numerous but usually because the position is no longer being offered or changed their mind on the candidate or the candidate themselves decided not to pursue. There is no official data as to why things are denied but the main reasons we gave earlier.

Another common question we get is how long does it take to process (either approve or deny) these applications given job start times, US Consulate interviews and flight arrangements hinge on this document being ready. You can’t schedule, let alone attend, a US consulate interview without this approval as you get a confirmation number which you need to fill out your DS-160 form that is required to schedule your US Consulate interview online.

Figure 2: Approved LCA Processing Times

Above you can see in 98% of cases where the LCA has been approved it has been done within 1 week which is the general guideline for how long the submission takes to process at most times. There are periods say in the latter part of March where guidelines say it may take longer due to the heavier volume because of H-1B visa but because the E-3 visa has no specific time period, applications are processed year round.

Figure 3: Denied LCA Processing Times


In the cases of denial you can see 90% is known within 5 business days and even 50% is already known with 3 days of submission. That tends to suggest a lot of the denials come from missing information in the application or automatic denial criteria like prevailing wage level. If you receive a denial you can resubmit with corrected or new information if appropriate.

Some other interesting points of note from the E-3 Visa LCA applications include;

  • 92% specify the visa length for the maximum period of 2 years and further 2-3% go very close to that period. The next most common period is around 1 year.
  • 61% of applications specify the employment start date within 1 month of the original LCA submission date. Now what is interesting about this is that it takes on average 4-7 days to get an approved LCA and only then can you do your US Consulate interview which can take time to get an appointment date and then once approved takes about 2-3 days to receive in the mail. So in general all this means most people and their US employers want to start working as soon as possible but often they will be starting after the date specified, which is perfectly OK.