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Questions about E-3 Visa Requirements

What is E-3 visa?

One of the outcomes of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) was the E-3 visa, which was created by an Act of U.S. Congress. This is visa meant for citizens of Australia. One key feature of this visa is that spouses of E-3 visas are allowed to work in the United States without restrictions. This applies even if they belong to a different nationality. The application procedure is simpler and quicker compared to others, and the E-3 visa is valid for an indefinite time period, renewable in two-year increments. The E-3 visa and the H-1B visa are quite similar but the E-3 visa as mentioned above has a few advantages.

Below are some questions answered by Experts on the E-3 visa.

My E-3 visa is due for renewal. Though my circumstances and employer have remained the same, USCIS is cross-questioning and asking for information already provided. What is the legal action that can be taken if their response seems unfair or biased?

Nobody has a “right” to a particular visa status. In cases such as this, it is likely the USCIS will have a reason to question an individual and their visa status. The U.S. economy could be going through a bad phase with many U.S. workers facing unemployment due to lack of opportunities. In such a scenario, the USCIS may have orders to make sure jobs are available first to U.S. workers.

An individual does have a right to appeal any decision. If you are denied, you may file Form I-290B and follow that process. In case that is denied too, there are other appeals possible at the federal level. The cost of these procedures would depend upon the attorney hired. It could range from $1000 to $5000 or more. The money spent cannot be recovered even if you win the case.

I am an Australian citizen holding an E-3 visa sponsored by my company but have left my job. Can I work for another company and use my U.S. driver’s license and Social Security Number (SSN)?

There are two options in such a scenario. You can return to Australia and apply for a fresh visa for the new employer or the new employer can file Form I-129 on your behalf. This would allow you to change employers. This process usually takes around three months.

A person on an E-3 visa with three dependants including spouse wants to separate due to abuse. What are the E-3 holder’s rights with respect to remaining in the U.S.? How is the spouse’s visa affected in such a scenario?

In case of domestic violence, if one has evidence of abuse a police report needs to be filed to bring charges against the abuser. The police can also be summoned just when the abuse has happened. If the spouse is arrested for domestic violence, there will be an immigration hold and most likely deportation. There is no affect on the E-3 visa holder for reporting abuse by a dependant.

Mere separation does not void a visa; only a divorce would void it. In case the spouse is not arrested, the immigration authorities would not go looking for him/her. Therefore the spouse can avoid being caught by maintaining a low profile. The better option would be to have them arrested. These legal actions initiated by the victim (E-3 visa holder) should not have any detrimental effect on their visa.

While converting from a F1 visa to E-3 visa, can a person be enrolled in a university so they can complete their dissertation?

A person must maintain the principal purpose of an E-3 visa or status by working as per the terms and conditions that it has been issued for. In the meantime, an E-3 visa holder may attend school and complete the formalities required by their university.

Does loss of job while on E-3 visa imply that one has to leave the country? What are the options to change of status to “fiancé” if he/she is engaged to a U.S. citizen?

Once you are terminated from a job, you do face the possibility of deportation from the U.S. at any time. The other repercussions to be noted are that if you stay unlawfully in the U.S. for more than 180 days and leave, you cannot return for three years. If you stay unlawfully for a year, you cannot return for ten years once you leave.

You cannot change to a fiancé status while you are in the United States. You need to apply to change this status from outside the U.S. and the process would take anywhere from six to nine months or more. A possible option, if you are already engaged, would be to get married and file Form I-485 which would help you get back into status.

Australians have several advantages with respect to the E-3 visa application. It is flexible for the holder as well as dependents and processing may be relatively quicker too. Leveraging on this could be a good option.

Ask an Immigration Lawyer

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 34498
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
9200179
Type Your Immigration Law Question Here...
characters left:
2 Immigration Lawyers are Online Now

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Recent E 3 Questions

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