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Australian moving to the United States of America

The borders are open again and an increasing number of Australians have been looking to relocate to the United States of America for employment or lower cost of living expenses. The E-3 visa is a special visa only for Australians to allow them to live and work in the United States (US).

What are the key requirements for the E-3 visa?

  • The employee applicant be an Australian citizen
  • Have a valid job offer in the United States at a sufficient salary and professional role in a speciality occupation
  • Be in possession of a Bachelor degree or higher (or sufficient years of work experience)

What is a speciality occupation?

A specialty occupation is defined as an occupation that requires:

  • An application of a body of specialised knowledge; and
  • The attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited college or university in the specific specialty (or equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation

There is no specific list defined by the US government at present, but the Immigration and Nationality Act provides some insight for what positions are eligible. Seek immigration advice if you are unsure if your position will qualify.  

What does the process look like?

Most E-3 applications will be filed while you are still in Australia (or somewhere outside the US). While it is possible to apply to change your status in the US, it is generally cheaper to apply from abroad.

You will lodge an application online for you and your family.   

This visa requires an interview at your local US consulate where the Consular Officer will determine the eligibility of your application. Most cases will receive a verbal decision during the interview, but in some cases, you may receive a decision in writing at a later date.

How long is the visa valid?

The initial E-3 is valid for 2 years but can be renewed indefinitely. In most cases, there are no maximum number of extensions.

Can I bring my family?

The E-3 visa allows the main applicant to bring their spouse and children with them. American law does not recognise de facto relationships, so you must be married. Your spouse will be given work rights in the US. Your children must be under 21 years old to remain eligible under your visa and may attend school but may not work.

Next Steps

If you are a US employer or an Australian employee and this visa sounds like the right fit for your situation, please contact our office now. Our office has US licensed attorneys on staff to help assist in your US and Australian migration needs today.

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