E-3 Visa Status

The E-3 classification applies only to nationals of Australia. You must be coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation.

You must be able to demonstrate your qualifications for the position offered through documentation:

  • A US baccalaureate degree or higher which is specifically related to and required by the specialty occupation.
  • A foreign degree which has been evaluated by an accredited firm or organization to be equivalent to a US baccalaureate degree which is specifically related to and required by the specialty occupation.
  • Work experience directly related to the proposed duties at UC. In such cases, three years of direct work experience counts for one year of education.

Application Process

There is an annual cap that limits the number of E-3 visas that can be approved each year. That number is 10,500. Once this cap has been reached no further E-3 visas can be approved

If you've been hired for a specialty occupation, your hiring department will submit the E-3 eForm in UC International's online system, iBearcatsGlobal. They will submit the following:

  1. A letter signed by the Department Head addressed to the U.S. Embassy stating 
    1. the dates of the employment requested for the E-3 visa (not to exceed 2 years) 
    2. the salary being offered 
    3. a description of job duties which demonstrate that the job requires at least a bachelor’s degree in a specific field of study
    4. an agreement to comply with all terms of the LCA until the end date
  2. A check made out to the Department of Homeland Security for the filing fee (if the applicant is in the US)

With the eForm request, you will submit the following documents:

  1. A copy of highest diploma and related transcripts. If the degree is NOT from a university in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, or Australia, an evaluation of the equivalent US degree must be submitted.
  2. curriculum vitae
  3. copies of all current immigration documents (passport, visa, I-94 card) if the employee will not be applying for the E-3 visa at a US Consulate/Embassy abroad. 
  4. if applying from within the US with dependents, Form I-539 and copies of all current immigration documents (passport, visa, I-94 card) for dependents.

Upon receipt of the eForm and all documentation, UC International will:

  1. Obtain a Prevailing Wage Determination from the Department of Labor. We will contact with the hiring department if there is a wage problem.
  2. Obtain a Certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor.
  3. Prepare the I-129 application for E-3 status.

After the completion of all three steps, you will either:

  • send the application for the E-3 status to the Department of Homeland Security OR
  • obtain an E-3 visa from a consulate outside the US. The E-3 employee will need to pay the I-129 fee. If you are overseas and does not require a change of status to E-3 or an extension of E-3 status, then the fee is not required and the I-129 petition does not need to be filed with USCIS.

Upon approval of the petition or entry to the US, you will report to UC International Services for check-in and onboarding.