The E-3 visa category is designated for Australian professionals coming temporarily to the U.S. to perform services in a specialty occupation, which is defined as an occupation that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree for the specific specialization (or its equivalent in experience). The initial E-3 visa may cover a period of up to two years. It may be renewed indefinitely, provided the alien is able to demonstrate that he/she does not intend to remain or work permanently in the United States.
To be eligible for E-3 status, a potential employee must:
At Augusta University, positions commonly sponsored by colleges/departments for E-3 status include: Postdoctoral Fellow, Research Associate, Research Scientist, Assistant Research Scientist, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Instructor. Other positions may qualify and are reviewed for eligibility on a case-by-case basis.
Securing E-3 sponsorship for those in Housestaff positions, temporary employees, and IT positions have proven problematic in the past. Departments are strongly advised to consider alternatives to the E-3 when contemplating hires for these positions.
As E-3 is an employer-sponsored status, the hiring unit is responsible for starting the E-3 process. IPSO will only petition for qualified personnel whom the college/department wishes to employ. The hiring unit must begin this process on behalf of new and continuing personnel.
Sponsorship requires that the college/department pay $460 in application fees and $500 in fraud detection fees (for initial applications only, not for extensions).
All fees must be paid by the college/department. E-3 salary requirements may require adjustments (increases) to the salary offered to a prospective employee.
On average, it takes 60 to 180 days for USCIS to approve an E-3 petition once it is submitted. If the employee is not currently in the U.S., the process to obtain an E-3 visa requires additional time. The hiring unit, as well as the applicant/employee, must submit all necessary documents and information to begin the E-3 process at least 4 months before the expected start date.
Australian citizens can be admitted to the United States in E-3 status in increments of up to two years. Extensions of stay are also granted in up to two-year increments. There is no cumulative time limit on the time an Australian citizen can be in E-3 status. Status can be renewed indefinitely, provided the E-3 professional can still prove nonimmigrant intent each time he or she applies for admission to the U.S.
No. E-3 status is considered temporary in nature and does not allow an employee to petition for permanent residency.
For a change or extension of status, as a professional courtesy, IPSO will petition for dependents (giving them E-3D status). However, the USCIS filing fee of $370 (subject to change) is to be paid by the employee.
Qualifying E-3D beneficiaries are the spouse and any unmarried children under 21 years of age of the principal E-3 visa holder.
Yes. An E-3D visa holder can apply for an employment authorization card (EAD), allowing them to work during the period stated on the card.
The Department of Labor (DOL) is involved with the E-3 visa application and employers bear a certain liability. Employers must make attestations about the wages for E-3 positions and they must guarantee the return fare home if an E-3's employment is terminated before the end of the period of authorized stay.
A Labor Condition Application must be filed and approved by the Department of Labor and posted within the Augusta University college/department before the employee applies for an E-3 visa at a U.S. consulate in Australia. As in the case of H-1B petitions, the Labor Condition Application requires that the college/department certify that the salary being paid to the E-3 applicant is the higher of the prevailing and actual wage.
Complete the appropriate forms and email the necessary documents to IPSO@augusta.edu. Please be aware that every case varies and different documentation may be required for each individual petition. Estimated processing times referenced are subject to change without notice due to changes in regulations/laws and/or due to backlogs within a particular government agency. IPSO cannot control delays of this nature.
An E-3 Application consists of the following documents, submitted from both the hiring department and the E-3 applicant.
For Postdoctoral Fellow positions, please see the Postdoctoral Guidelines for information on how to obtain the template offer letter for postdocs.
For classified positions, we will need a copy of the official offer letter generated by Human Resources.
For faculty appointments, we will need a copy of the official appointment letter.
USCIS Filing Fees of $460 and $500.
Two separate checks in the amounts of $460 and $500 payable to:
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
California Service Center
ATTN: CAP EXEMPT E-3 Processing Unit
P. O. BOX 30040
Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-3004
The $460 is the USCIS filing fee associated with the application to petition for an
E-3 visa (Form I-129) on behalf of Augusta University for (name of employee.) View more information about USCIS filing fees.
The $500 is the Fraud Detection and Prevention Fee that is part of the E-3 Reform Act enacted on March 8, 2005.
Applicants currently in the United States, not holding an E-3 through Augusta University
Note: Applicants currently holding an E-3 with another employer who want to transfer to Augusta University will need to provide all documents listed above including their current E-3 Approval Notice (Form I-797) and copies of three (3) most recent pay stubs.
Applicants not currently in the United States
Applicants Extending E-3 status at Augusta University