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E-3 VISA - Frequently Asked Questions


What is a specialty occupation?

The definition of ‘specialty occupation’ is one that requires:

  • A theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge; and
  • The attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the U.S.

Note: In determining whether an occupation qualifies as a ‘specialty occupation’, follow the definition contained at INA 214 (i)(1) for H-1B non-immigrants and applicable standards and criteria determined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and USCIS.


Do I need a license for a specialty occupation?

An E-3 alien must meet academic and occupational requirements, including licensure where appropriate, for admission into the U.S. in a specialty occupation. If the job requires licensure or other official permission to perform the specialty occupation, the applicant must submit proof of the requisite license or permission before the E-3 visa may be granted. In certain cases, where such a license or other official permission is not immediately required to perform the duties described in the visa application, you must show that you will obtain such licensure within a reasonable period of time following admission to the U.S.


Can I go to the US to find a job and then apply for the E-3 visa from there?

You are required to have a job offer in the US before you can apply for an E-3 visa. Therefore, if you enter the US under the visa waiver program you will need to leave the US to obtain an E-3 visa and return once you have a job offer. However, if you enter the US in another visa status your new employer may be able to apply for a change of status on your behalf.


How do I apply for an E-3 visa?

You may make your appointment for an interview as soon as you have all the documents prepared.

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How long does it take to apply?

The wait times at each Consulate vary, so check with your nearest Consulate to make an appointment.


Is the USCIS premium processing available for an E-3 visa petition?

At present, the USCIS Premium Processing (adjudication of the petition within 15 days for an additional $1,000 fee) option is not available for the E-3 visa.


What is the fee for an E-3 visa?

Other than the normal visa application fee, there is no issuance fee.

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