Getting a formal offer of employment letter is just the beginning to the e3 visa processing routine. There’s an entire series of steps that must be completed, both on the part of yourself and your employer, for you to successfully obtain an e3 visa.
e3 Visa Processing: The Labor Condition Application
The first step in the process is done by your potential employer. They must file what is called a “Labor Condition Application” (LCA) to start the entire e3 visa processing routine. Fortunately enough, it’s a single piece of paperwork that can be filed online at zero cost to the employer.
The required form is called an ETA-9035 (e), and it’s available on the U.S. Department of Labor website. The form requires company information, candidate information, details about your position (responsibilities, educational requirements, etc.), salary information, and a few other pieces of information. The two most significant things about this form are (1) that the position MUST require a bachelor’s degree or significant experience and (2) that the salary meets requirements for prevailing/actual wage paid to the position.
Assuming no complications occur, the e3 processing for the LCA usually takes between 5 and 10 business days. If for some reason the e3 application does get rejected, your employer can appeal the rejection or amend their application for resubmission. Be sure to keep your original copy of the LCA for your consulate interview.
e3 visa processing: Scheduling an e3 Visa Appointment
Your next step in the e3 visa processing routine is setting up an appointment with a U.S. consulate. Only three consulates in Australia will accept non-immigrant visa applications, and they’re located in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney respectively. For the best results, you’ll want to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. >> Find US consulates in Australia
We recommend setting one up a minimum of a month prior to the actual day that you want. Spouses and dependents also need to be interviewed to get their visas, so you’ll want to try and schedule all the appointments at the same time. The farther in advance that you can do this, the easier it will be for you.
You should also note that it costs $14 AUD per person to book an interview, and that it’s recommended you book appointments early in the day and arrive early for those appointments. In other words, being proactive and timely will yield the best results for you.
e3 visa processing: List of Required Documents
There’s a fairly sizable list of documents that you’ll need for your consulate interview as a part of the e3 visa processing routine. Make sure that you’ve reviewed the list and gathered the appropriate documentation prior to your interview.
Here’s are the necessary and helpful documents for e3 visa processing:
- Your current Passport, which must be valid at the time of your interview.
- The LCA filed by your employer. Be sure you have copies of all versions and any supporting documentation if the LCA was revised or appealed.
- The Formal Offer of Employment from your employer. It needs to be signed, have the company’s letterhead, include a job description, and addressed to you.
- A printed D-160 confirmation, which should include a barcode and a photo of you (uploaded when you filled out the form). You may also want to bring a couple extra US-sized passport photos, just in case the uploaded one is determined to be unusable.
- A printed VisaPoint confirmation — while a printed VisaPoint appointment isn’t necessary, many e3 holders have found it helpful.
- A self-addressed envelope and postage
- A printed receipt for all application fees that have been paid to the Australian Post. You cannot pay these with a credit card.
- Supporting documents to satisfy the E3 Residence Abroad condition for the e3 visa. These can be anything that show you have significant ties to the country — property, financial accounts, etc. — to prove non-immigrant intent to the USA.
- A Copy of Your Degree or Evidence of Qualifications to satisfy the education/work experience criteria for the visa. If you have a degree, then a printed copy will suffice, and transcripts can help (but aren’t necessary). If you don’t have a degree, then you’ll need to prove that you possess the mandatory work experience. Letters from former employers and managers that detail duties and length of employment can help to satisfy this requirement. It’s advisable to bring as much documentation as you can to thoroughly make your case. Don’t worry about overkill with this requirement — the more, the better.
- Any additional documents that may apply to your personal situation. Bring as many of these helpful documents as you might feel are necessary — you don’t want to make a second trip to the consulate if it can be avoided.
With this interview, there is no such thing as over-preparing. The more documentation you bring, the more likely you are to fly through the e3 processing routine uninhibited. In particular, be sure to bring as much support as you can for the educational requirement and for the residence abroad requirement. With these documents in hand, though, you should be well-prepared for your upcoming e3 Visa Interview.