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The E-3 Specialty Occupation Workers from Australia (E-3) status applies to Australian professionals who come to the U.S. to perform services in specialty occupations. E-3 holders are expected to maintain an intention to depart the U.S. upon the expiration of their authorized stay. Employment may begin upon receipt of USCIS approval.

To qualify for E-3 status you must demonstrate that you:

  • Are of Australian nationality;
  • Work in a specialty occupation (an occupation requiring a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent to successfully perform the duties of the position);
  • Meet the academic and other requirements of the occupation;
  • Have a job offer from a U.S. employer in the specialty occupation with a wage that is higher of the actual or prevailing wage; and
  • Have obtained an approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor (DOL) from your prospective employer.

Applying for E-3 Status Outside the U.S.

Australian nationals who are outside the United States must apply for the E-3 directly at a U.S. consulate. Prior USCIS approval of a petition is not required in these cases. The only requirement is for the employer to file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Once the LCA is certified, you may apply for the E-3 visa at a U.S. consular post abroad by presenting the following:

  • Original certified Labor Condition Application (Form ETA 9035);
  • Evidence of academic or other qualifying credentials to establish the applicant’s eligibility for E-3 status such as a certified copy of a foreign equivalent degree as evidence that the applicant possesses education and experience that is equivalent to a U.S. degree;
  • Offer letter from the employer establishing that the applicant will be engaged in qualifying work in a specialty occupation, the anticipated length of the appointment, arrangements for remuneration, evidence the E-3 holder meets the educational, licensure or occupational requirements for the position, and a certified copy of any required license or other official permission to practice the occupation in the state of intended employment if necessary; and
  • Evidence of payment of the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee, fully executed form DS-156 and any other requirements specific to the consular post.

When planning for the arrival of an E-3 from outside the U.S., consider the length of time it may take for DOL to certify the LCA and the employee to obtain the visa from the U.S. consulate.

Applying for E-3 Status Inside the U.S.

Foreign nationals who are in the U.S. and wish to change their status to E-3 or extend their existing E-3 status must have a petition filed with USCIS by the prospective employer.

Documents Required by Immigration Affairs

Required documentation must be submitted upon request by Immigration Affairs through Tracker.

The petition for change or extension of E-3 status must be submitted to USCIS in a timely manner. The petition involves approval by federal agencies outside the control of Immigration Affairs, so please allow six months for this process.


E-3 status holders may be admitted to the U.S. for a period of up to two years. This status can be extended for increments of up to two years. Currently, there is no limit on the number of extensions an E-3 holder can have.


Dependents of E-3 holders do not have to be Australian nationals to have E-3 status. They may apply to USCIS for work authorization.