Month: January 2006

The E-3 Visa for Australian Professionals

Today we write to you about a new visa opportunity that is strictly for Australian nationals.  It is called the E-3 visa and it is for professional employment in the United States.  The visa is good for two years and can be renewed indefinitely.  Basically it must be shown that a US employer is sponsoring an Australian national for a professional position which normally requires a University degree.  The Australian national must show that he or she possesses the required degree.  A benefit to this status is that it can be used as an alternative to the H-1B (the primary professional visa) which is subject to numerical caps and frequently is used up early.  Another benefit is that the Australian national’s spouse can obtain an unrestricted work permit while his or her spouse is working in the US with an E-3 visa.  This visa can be obtained at a US consulate abroad or one can apply for change to E-3 status in the United States.  Finally, the E-3 visa does not carry with it the very expensive filing fees associated with the H-1B (which could be up to $2,190).  There is an annual limit of 10,500 new visas per year.  However, since only Australian nationals can apply for this visa, it remains to be seen whether the numerical limit will ever be reached before the end of the fiscal year.  Please also see the US immigration press release regarding this new status.