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E-3 visas are reserved only for Australian citizens that are coming to the United States to work temporarily in a "specialty occupation" or "professional specialty" for a U.S. company. Occupations that count as professional specialties are those that require theory and application of specialized skill sets and knowledge, and also require a 4-year college degree in the same field as the work.
Australian professional specialty E-3 visas can be applied for either by the Australian citizen in person at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, or by the American employer via mail if the Australian worker is already living in the United States. The American employer may request a change of visa status to the E-3 visa for the Australian candidate (unless the Australian is in the U.S. on a STA Visa Waiver Program).
E-3 visas for Australians with professional specialty work typically last only two years. They can, however, be extended, so long as the Australian worker does not intend to permanently live and work in the United States and keeps his or her close ties and residence in Australia. Children and spouses of Australians with E-3 visas are also eligible to accompany the visa holder to the United States.
Though an American employer may offer a job to an Australian citizen, it does not mean that the American employer will secure an E-3 visa for the Australian worker. The Australian citizen will be responsible for this and it can be a lengthy and complex process. The Australian will need to ask the American employer to obtain a Labor Condition Application (LCA) which confirms that the job in question is one that requires a 4-year degree and professional specialty knowledge. The Australian will also need to collect an official job offer letter from the employer, and show significant proof of residence and "close ties" to their home country of Australia.
Australians applying for an E-3 professional specialty visa must not start working for the American company until they receive their visa. This can take anywhere between three to six weeks if applying at a Consulate or Embassy, or anywhere between six to eight months if applying for a change of status through the mail. Also, if the Australian professional intends to work for multiple U.S. companies, he or she will need to secure a separate E-3 visa for each job. Australian professional specialty E-3 visas do not allow the Australian worker to apply for a green card while he or she holds this visa.
Because most American employers may not know how to help you get an E-3 Australian professional specialty visa, it would be wise to seek the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney in the U.S. An immigration attorney can help first ensure you qualify for an E-3 visa, and then can work with your potential employer to get the documentation you need - such as the LCA certification and job offer letter. In addition, an immigration lawyer will make sure your E-3 visa application is true and correct, so that you can most easily and quickly get approved for your visa and begin work in the United States.
If you need the assistance of an immigration lawyer, contact us today. Attorney Search Network can help you find an immigration lawyer who knows about Australian professional specialty E-3 visas.
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