under the E-3 VISA & E-2 SPONSORSHIP visa

E-3 Visa

Eligibility Criteria

Australian citizen

Be an Australian Passport holder

Current Job Offer

Have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States

qualifications or credentials

Possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials

Specialty occupation

Will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation

The Huge Demand for Construction & Engineering Professionals in the US Construction and Engineering industry is Real.

If you are an Australian passport holder looking to relocate to the USA or an employer looking for highly skilled Australian professionals talk to one of our friendly consultants on how you can make this possible with the E-3 visa pathway. We work in partnership with BrightSide Consultants, an Australian based, global recruitment agency with offices in Australia, New York, Ireland and the UK, to support you at every step of this incredibly fast way to Australians employed in the USA.

the e-3 visa - what you need to know

employing Australians and australians moving to the USA

The E-3 Visa is a visa for only Australian citizens, created as a result of the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement. The visa enables eligible Australians to work temporarily in the U.S, 2 years at a time, in a specialty occupation renewable indefinitely.

Each year 10,500 E-3 Visas are available to Australians only and in the past few years less than 50% of the quota has been used. E-3 Visa renewals do not count towards the annual quota.

To be eligible for the E-3 Visa, there are a few general requirements that must be met

  1. Be a national of Australia
  2. Have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States
  3. Possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials
  4. Fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation.

According to the regulations, a “specialty occupation” is a job that requires “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge to perform the occupation”.

Generally speaking, a “specialty occupation” must meet at least ONE of the following criteria:

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher or the equivalent to a bachelor’s degree is normally the minimum requirement for entry into the position;
  • This requirement (a bachelor’s degree, its equivalent, or higher) is common to the industry (i.e. similar companies offering parallel positions also require a bachelor’s degree or higher) or, in the alternative, the employer may show that its particular position is so complex or unique that it can only be performed by an individual with a bachelor’s degree or higher or its equivalent;
  • The sponsoring employer normally requires a bachelor’s degree, or higher, or its equivalent for the position; OR
  • The job duties are so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the job duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The above are guidelines as to what constitutes a specialty occupation

The E-3 Visa costs $205 USD when applied for via a U.S. consulate abroad. If approved without administrative processing, Australians can have their E-3 Visas in their passports within 3-5 business days of attending their appointment.

The process can be broken down into stages but overall takes approximately six weeks from initial filings to visa in your hand after you have received a job offer.

The average timeline for getting an E-3 visa:

  • Interviewing for a job – 2-4 weeks
  • Offer negotiation – 1-2 weeks
  • LCA writing & approval – 2 weeks
  • Interview wait time & document compiling – 2-10 weeks (dependent on location)
  • Visa interview – 10 minutes
  • Passport return with approved E3 visa – 1-2 weeks

E-3 visas are granted in 2 year increments and theoretically are renewable indefinitely as long as the applicant does not display an intent to immigrate permanently to the U.S.  

  1. The visa requires an approved LCA which must be signed by the employer but can be filled in with your help and with the help of a lawyer, it takes 5-10 business days to return and takes approximately 30-90 minutes to fill in.
  2. The visa itself costs $205USD to apply for (and this can be paid by you or the employer)
  3. You will attend an interview, and be back and ready for work approximately two weeks after that.
  4. This visa is unique as it’s only for Australians, is always available, and can be issued all throughout the year.
  5. The visa lasts for 2 years but if we want to, we can apply for another two years indefinitely at the end which requires me to leave the country and return (all within about 2 weeks).

You can change jobs on an E-3 Visa by either:

(a) leaving the United States and applying for a new E-3 Visa or

(b) submitting an E-3 Petition that requests a change of employer.

Usually, consular processing is favored, amongst other reasons due to longer wait times for the internal filing, which must be approved before commencing work with the new employer.

The child is automatically a U.S. citizen. You can also register the birth with the Australian Consulate.

An Australian citizen can live permanently in the USA, but not on the E-3 Visa. The E-3 is temporary visa that carries 100% nonimmigrant intent. You must obtain permanent residency (“Green Card”) to stay without restriction.

Yes, you can, in theory, renew the visa indefinitely for up to two years each time

The E-3 Visa are sponsored by employers.

Nonimmigrant. You must not manifest the intent to remain permanently in the U.S. However, unlike other visa classifications, you do NOT need to maintain a residence outside of the U.S.

Opportunities for Highly Skilled

Australian talent

We have Civil and Infrastructure opportunities throughout the USA, be a part of the 1.2 trillion USA infrastructure boom! If you want to take your career to the USA, or employ a highly skilled Australian professional we want to hear from you! 

Data Center

Construction & Engineering

Infrastructure & Rail

Digital Engineering

Road & Bridge

Renewable Energy

Built Environment

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Going 2 talent

Our partner company, BrightSide Consultants specialise in recruiting Civil Engineering and Construction Professionals, through the E-3 visa pathway. We are ”Going To Talent” to connect with the best Australian and international talent across the globe for our US Clients and are positioned to deliver with a network of talented E-3 eligible Australian professionals looking for opportunities in the US. 

Interested in becoming an e-3 friendly employer?

talk to our consultants today

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