Anku's Cyber Graffiti

Saturday, September 02, 2006

E-3 visa for Australians

I've been getting questions about E-3 visa for Australians. So I thought I'll just do a quick post writing about my experience about getting a job in the US and applying for the visa. Please remember, I am not a migration attorney and I am just sharing my experience. I should not be held accountable for any damage caused or visa refused.

In order to get a job here, you should be physically present here. I came here in April earlier this year for 3 weeks and started applying for jobs through If you apply from Australia more than likely no one will contact you. When they see a local number and an address on your CV, they will contact you. Also in all my cover letters, I used to mention that I do not require H1-B sponsorship, which is actually true. Because for E-3, companies do not have to file a petition (which is what makes H1-B so hard to get and companies are usually unwilling to do it). When you talk to the company tell them that E-3 is like the Canadian TN visa. Most companies understand that. Tell them, the only thing you need from them is a job offer and a document called LCA. LCA stands for Labor Condition Application. LCA is just like a notification to the Department of Labor that the company is not getting cheap labor from outside and that they are paying you the same wages that an American citizen will get. Here's an excerpt of the email that I used to send to the companies to educate them about LCA.

LCA can be applied for online at
So that you know what questions will be asked, you can see a PDF format of the form here :
However, the form must still be lodged online using the link I provided earlier.
There is a guide available at to help you answer the questions. Now as for the duration of the visa, E3 is granted for 2 years, so that's what you can write for the period of employment.

For all questions, when filling online, there is a question mark (?) symbol next to each question. If you click on that, it will provide you with Help on that question.
Section E in the form asks you about the prevailing wage, when you are filling in the form online, there is a search wizard which takes in the zip code where the position is being offered and the position name (eg. Computer Programmer) and it gives you the prevailing wage for that position. The salary being offered must be higher than this to satisfy the labor department. Its not very hard to do as it gives you various levels of salaries.

The biggest difference between H1-B and E3 is that for E3, you just have to lodge this form with the labor department and send the LCA certificate, (which is given straight after the form is submitted) to the candidate. You do not have to file a petition with the US immigration like you do for H1-B, which is a headache for most employers.

After that I went back to Sydney. Went for my interview with US consulate and got my visa. Flew back here in 3 weeks to start work. Pretty straightforward.

Yasser has a great post about E-3. You should definitely check it out.

Change of Employer with E-3 Visa

If you are on E-3 and wish to change an employer, you will need to obtain a new LCA and file an I-539 with the USCIS. At this stage this is the only information I have available I will post it here if I find out more.


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