The E-3 work visa is very similar to the H-1B visa, except that only Australian citizens are eligible. That means if you are an Australian citizen with a specialty occupation job offer in the United States, this is the visa for you.
There are 10,500 annual E-3 visas, not including E-3 visa extensions or transfers. These visas cover a two-year period with unlimited extensions in most circumstances. Qualified applicants are Australian citizens with legitimate US job offers for specialty occupations. A specialty occupation is a job that requires a minimum of a US bachelor’s degree or higher as a minimum qualification to be hired to the position.
The applicant must be paid the higher of the actual or prevailing wage for the position. The actual wage is the wage the E-3 employer pays its other employees performing the same job as the E-3 position with similar experience and qualifications. The prevailing wage is the average wage paid to employees holding the E-3 position in the specific geographical location of the E-3 job.
The E-3 applicant must also hold the required minimum degree or its equivalent in years of progressive work experience. Three years of work experience in the field of the E-3 job in which the applicant took on progressively more responsibility and the nature of their work became progressively more specialized and complex can be converted into one year of college credit. That means, in absence of the required bachelor’s degree, the applicant must have at least 12 years of progressive work experience in the industry.
If you, or if your employee or client is seeking E-3 visa status, it is essential to make sure that you provide added evidence proving they meet specialty occupation requirements and that their credentials match the E-3 job requirements.
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Sheila Danzig is the director of CCI TheDegreePeople.com. Sheila specializes in overturning RFEs and Denials for work visas.