E-3 Visa

E3 Visa Lawyer NYC

Nationals of Australia may be eligible for a special visa known as an E3 visa, which grants them the ability to reside in the United States for a two-year period while working in a specialty occupation. This visa is only available to Australian nationals who meet certain requirements. In order to be eligible for this visa, you must be planning to come to the United States for the sole purpose of performing services in an occupation that is considered to be a specialty occupation.

An E3 Visa is initially granted for a period of stay of two years. Once you are working in the United States with an E3 Visa, you can request a two-year extension of your stay. Generally, there is no maximum limit to the number of extensions that you can request; however, there may be some exceptions to this rule. If you are wondering whether you are eligible for this visa or for an extension, an E3 Visa Lawyer NYC can help. Contact an E3 Visa Lawyer NYC at Feiner & Lavy, P.C. today to learn more about your legal options.

What Qualifies as a Specialty Occupation for an E3 Visa?

For the purposes of obtaining an E3 Visa, a specialty occupation is one that requires both theoretical and the practical application of highly specialized knowledge. At minimum, a specialty occupation requires you to have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specialty (or its equivalent) in order to enter into the occupation in the U.S. with an E3 visa. If you have not earned a bachelor’s degree or a graduate level degree, you may still be eligible for an E3 Visa if you have substantial professional experience.

A more detailed definition of the term “specialty occupation” as it pertains to E3 Visa eligibility can be found in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), specifically at 214 (i)(1) for H-1B nonimmigrants and applicable standards and criteria as determined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). While there is no official list of occupations that are considered eligible for the E3 Visa, a general guide that applicants can consult for further information regarding potential eligibility is the Occupational Information Network website, O*Net Online.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements to Obtain an E3 Visa?

To be eligible for an E3 Visa, you need to meet the following basic eligibility requirements:

  • You must have a legitimate employment offer in the United States.
  • You must be a national of Australia.
  • You must be filling a position that meets the qualifications of a specialty occupation; and
  • You must also have the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials.

Only Australian nationals are eligible for E3 Visas. For those who are new Australian citizens or who are in the process of obtaining Australian citizenship, keep in mind that you will need to have an Australian passport in your possession by the time you sit for your visa interview.

There may also be other eligibility requirements beyond those listed above. Your E3 Visa Lawyer NYC can help you understand any additional requirements that apply to you.

What Kind of Experience Do I Need for an E3 Visa If I Do Not Have a Bachelor’s Degree?

If you do not have a university degree, you can still be eligible for an E3 Visa if you meet certain qualifications regarding your job experience. The kind and amount of experience that you can use to establish the equivalency of a university degree can be found in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 8 CFR 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(D).

Typically, for each year of university-level education required, three years of professional experience may be used as a sufficient substitute. Since a bachelor’s degree generally requires four years of education, you may still be approved for an E3 Visa if you can show that you have acquired 12 years of professional experience in the field in which you are applying to work in.

For those who plan to obtain an E3 Visa based on 12 years or more of their relevant professional experience, it is crucial to be ready to provide documentation and proof of that experience at the time of the visa interview. This documentation should include evidence of your work history, training, and education in your chosen field. A consular officer will review the documentation that you provided and will determine whether it meets the eligibility requirements for this visa.

Can I Be Approved for an E3 Visa for a Part-Time Job?

You can obtain an E3 Visa for a part-time job position in the United States. There is no requirement that the job position in the U.S. must be full time in order for you to be approved for an E3 Visa. The Labor Condition Application that you will be using allows for an hourly wage to be designated as the wage rate instead of an annual salary. Additionally, you can also note whether the position will be full-time or part-time on the Application.

The primary consideration regarding this issue is whether a part-time role will allow someone to earn enough of an income in the United States in order to support themselves (and their family, if applicable). Depending on the hourly wage rate that is listed in your Labor Condition Application, the consular officer may ask you questions about how you plan to support yourself and your family with the amount of money you will be earning at your new job position in the United States.

The consular officer will be looking for evidence to confirm that you will not come to the United States to work—only to become dependent on the country’s public resources and welfare for financial assistance. If you have substantial savings or other financial accounts that you plan to use as additional support, you should provide this information to the consular officer, if you are asked.  Your E3 Visa Lawyer NYC can help you determine if you will need to provide additional documentation showing your financial resources to support your E3 Visa petition.

How Do I Apply for an E3 Visa If I am Already in the United States?

If you are already in the United States and wish to apply for an E3 Visa, you will need to fill out the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. This form allows you to apply for an extension of stay or a change of status to the E3 nonimmigrant temporary worker classification. When you submit your Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, you must include certain supporting documentation. Your petition should include the following documents:

  • All academic or other types of credentials that demonstrate your qualifications for the position.
  • A letter with your formal job offer, or other documentation from your potential employer that establishes you will be engaged in a specialty occupation which will pay you the higher of the actual or prevailing wage.
  • A Labor Condition Application showing that it was filed to support an E3 classification.
  • If required, you must have obtained the necessary license or other official permission to practice in the specialty occupation for which you are requesting the E3 Visa.

What Happens If I Want to Work for a Different Employer After Obtaining an E3 Visa?

If you are working in the U.S. after having applied for and successfully obtained an E3 Visa for your employment, you are not required to stay with that employer. However, if you wish to change jobs, there is a process that must be followed. Your new employer must obtain a certified Labor Condition Application for the job in which you plan to be employed. A new Form I-129 petition must also be filed and approved before you can be authorized to work for the new employer.

In some cases, USCIS may consider you to be maintaining your E3 Visa status after you have discontinued employment with your original employer for up to 60 days while your new petition is being processed. In the event that you wish to apply for an extension of your stay to continue with your original employer, or change your job position with that same employer, you will also need to complete and file a new Form I-129 petition. If you are unsure about whether or not you must file a Form I-129 petition, an experienced E3 Visa Lawyer can help guide you in the right direction.

Will My Family Be Able to Come to the United States with Me on an E3 Visa?

Yes, if your petition for an E3 Visa is approved, your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible for derivative visas. If approved, your family members are permitted to come with you to the United States and are entitled to dependent E3 classification.

However, while spouses of E3 Visa workers are authorized for employment in the U.S., children of E3 Visa workers in the U.S. as dependents under this classification cannot be employed in the United States. If you have concerns about the process of obtaining derivative visas for your family in connection with your E3 Visa petition, an E3 Visa Lawyer NYC will be able to help.

What Do I Need to Know About the E3 Visa Interview Process?

Applicants who are aged 14-79 must attend an in-person interview with a consular officer as part of the E3 application process. This in-person interview is a requirement for most initial E3 Visa applications, and it is by appointment only. One of the reasons that in-person interviews are required is so that eligibility checks can be conducted, such as biometric fingerprint scanning to check criminal records.

It is essential to be on time (or early) for your E3 Visa interview. If you arrive at the interview too late, it may be cancelled. You should plan on being at the Consulate or Embassay for your interview for anywhere from two to three hours.

When an applicant has already been approved for an E3 Visa and is merely seeking a renewal, it may be possible to obtain a waiver for the interview. If you are scheduled to attend an interview for a renewal of your E3 Visa and you are wondering if it is necessary for your case, be sure to speak with your E3 Visa Lawyer NYC for further information.

What Are the Next Steps Once My E3 Visa Is Approved?

Generally, once the interview has concluded, the consular officer will inform you whether your E3 Visa has been approved, denied, or will require further administrative processing. If your visa has been approved, you can travel to the United States after you receive your visa, but no sooner than 10 days prior to your employment start date is set.

Once you arrive in the U.S., you can begin working for your employer in accordance with the terms as set forth in the Labor Condition Application (LCA). You must be paid at least the wage rate that is shown on the LCA.

Do I Need to Hire an E3 Visa Lawyer NYC to Apply for an E3 Visa?

While you do not necessarily have to hire an E3 Visa Lawyer NYC to move forward with filing your E3 Visa petition, having an experienced E3 Visa Lawyer NYC to help you throughout the application process can be quite valuable. A knowledgeable immigration attorney will be familiar with the filing deadlines, requirements, and supporting documentation necessary to improve your chances at a successful E3 Visa petition.

To learn more about how an E3 Visa Lawyer NYC can help you navigate the legal process of filing a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker to apply for an E3 Visa, give us a call today. At the law firm of Feiner & Lavy, P.C., we are dedicated to resolving our clients’ immigration-related issues quickly and efficiently. Whether you need assistance filing a petition for an E3 Visa, or you have other immigration law needs, we are here to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation to meet with one of our attorneys and get started moving forward as soon as possible.

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**This is general information and is NOT intended to provide legal advice.