Q: What is the E-3 visa?  

A: The E-3 visa allows Australian citizens in certain specialty/professional positions to live and work in the US.

Q: How many E-3 visas are available each year?  

A:  There are 10,500 E-3 visas available each fiscal year for Australians. Typically, Australians use approximately 5,000 of these E-3 visas per year.

Q: What is the potential Irish E-3 visa?

A: There is currently a bill before the Senate that would allow Irish citizens / Ireland to avail of the surplus E-3 visas. A vote is expected any day now and unanimous approval is required. As of writing this (12/12/2018), there was only one Senate hold remaining.

Q: Who is eligible for an E-3 visa?

A: To be eligible for the E-3 visa at present you must:

  • Be an Australian citizen

  • Have a US sponsor for a job that is considered a “specialty occupation” i.e. requires a Bachelor’s degree in a specific field

  • Hold that specific Bachelors’ degree or higher or equivalent in work experience (12 years)

  • Show an ultimate intent to depart the US

Q:  How long is the E-3 visa valid? 

A: The E-3 visa is granted for a period of two years initially. In theory, the E-3 visa can be renewed indefinitely in two year increments.

Q:  Are spouses and children permitted to accompany an E-3 visa holder?  

A:  Yes, dependents are allowed to reside in the US and spouses may apply for independent employment authorization.  

Q: How will the proposed bill affect Irish citizens? 

A: If the proposed Irish E-3 bill receives unanimous approval from the US Senate, then Irish citizens, who meet all criteria, will be eligible to apply for E-3 visas unused by Australian citizens. There would potentially be 5,000 E-3 visas available for Irish citizens per year. If the bill passes, it will be an amazing opportunity for qualifying Irish citizens to move to the U.S. to work on a temporary basis.

Q: How do you apply for an E-3 visa?

A: Your US employer sponsor would work with an experienced immigration attorney to prepare the E-3 case. A Labor Condition Application (LCA) is filed with the Department of Labor. Once approved, the certified LCA is added to the rest of the E-3 application. Eligible individuals can apply directly at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad for the E-3 visa. We highly recommend that all E-3 visa applicants get thorough preparation for the Embassy/Consulate interview from their immigration lawyer.

Q: Where do I get news on the E-3 visa?

A. You can follow our Managing Attorney, Fiona, on Twitter or our firm on Facebook. The Irish E-3 visa is very near and dear to Fiona’s heart – she has tirelessly advocated for the expansion of the E-3 visa to include Irish citizens with both US and Irish officials, including Chicago-based Irish Senator Billy Lawless. Watch this space…

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