E-3 Visa Holder Employment


This document describes the E-3 visa classifications and details the procedure that must be followed to employ an E-3 visa holder.


The E-3 visa classification is used for nationals of Australia coming to the United States (U.S.) to perform services in a specialty occupation.

For a noncitizen to obtain an E-3 visa, the prospective employer must first submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the Department of Labor (DOL). The noncitizen can then apply for a visa directly at a U.S. consulate or embassy as long as he/she has a pre-arranged job offer in the United States.

Who Qualifies

The E-3 category is appropriate for faculty members, researchers, and many other kinds of temporary workers from Australia at the professional level. This category may not be used for graduate students.

The Research Foundation (RF) uses this category to temporarily employ noncitizens who qualify as persons in “specialty occupations.” The Immigration Act of 1990 defines a “specialty occupation” as an occupation that requires:

Labor Condition Application (LCA)

Employers are required to complete an LCA (Form ETA 9035) to ensure that the employment of an E-3 visa holder does not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers, as required by the Immigration Act of 1990. For more information, refer to the document, "Labor Condition Application (LCA) for H-1B and E-3 Nonimmigrants."

Note: The LCA was originally intended for applications for H-1B visas and does not currently contain a check box for E-3 classification. For E-3 visa applications, the petitioner must clearly note “E-3 – Australia – to be processed” on the top of the form.

Applying for a New E-3 Visa

The noncitizen must present the original or copy of the Labor Condition Application (LCA) signed by the prospective employer and approved by the Department of Labor directly to the consular officer at the time of visa application. No petition to the Department of Homeland Security is required.

In addition to the approved LCA, an applicant must demonstrate that:

Applying for a Change in Status or E-3 Extension

Noncitizens already in the United Sates may request a change of status to E-3 or extend their E-3 status by filing form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) directly with the Vermont Service Center. Form I 129 is downloadable in PDF format from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Immigration Forms page. Download instructions are also available. A fee is required for submitting the petition. This form is also available from the Forms By Mail link on the USCIS Web site.

In addition to Form I-129, the applicant must show:

Duration of Stay

E-3 visas are valid for up to two years, and can be renewed indefinitely.

Additional Regulations

Temporary Employment

Employment in this category must be temporary. The position to be filled by the noncitizen can be permanent in nature, but the
employer’s intention must be to employ the noncitizen temporarily in that position.

The RF as Sponsor

E-3 status requires a sponsoring U.S. employer. A noncitizen cannot gain E-3 status on his or her own. An E-3 visa holder may be
employed only by the employer that petitioned for the status. Therefore, the RF may employ an E-3 visa holder only when the RF is the

Spouse or Dependent

The spouse or child of a person holding an E-3 visa is eligible to apply for an "employment authorization document" that an employer can
use to verify the spouse’s employment eligibility. Spousal employment may be in a position other than a specialty occupation.

Helpful Links

For additional information, refer to the following web sites:

Change History



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