This visa is unique to citizens of Australia. The visa is roughly the same as the H-1B (see below), but since it is for Australian citizens only, it has a lower level of demand. To qualify you must:
● Be a national of Australia;
● Have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States;
● Possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials;
● Will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation.
To apply for the position, you will need to file a Labor Condition Application (LCA), which will set the wage for the position, and then USCIS can approve the petition. As always, details and supporting documents are required for a successful application. Don’t rely on being Australian with a bachelor’s degree to qualify. It takes a lot more than that!
Per the USCIS regulations, you should be employed in a job that relies on “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge to perform the occupation.” This means that you should hold a degree common and specific to an industry or hold a position so unique to the industry that only someone with your degree and experience could fulfill the responsibilities of said job.
Some of the most commonly considered positions include engineers, lawyers and other legal professionals, economists, financial analysts and accountants, professors, doctors and other medical specialists, architects, mental health workers, and so on. These jobs generally require skills and knowledge considered niche to that field. If you don’t see your career field listed above, don’t panic; the list is quite long and it’s impossible to name every job that qualifies for an E3 visa.
The visa is valid for two years and spouses of E3’s are eligible for a work permit. You will need to file the work permit, known as the employment authorization document, or EAD once you are already in the United States. There is no time limitation on the E3 visa; however, you should consult with an attorney just to make sure you can show ties to your home country and non-immigrant intent.
Similar to the H-1B, as an E3 employee, you can change your employer through a filing with USCIS once you are already inside the US. Keep in mind that changes to employment may require an amended filing.