Skip to main content


Please visit the E-3 Australian Professional section for general information about the E-3 classification.  This section contains answers to specific E-3 situations. Questions and answers in this section are in no particular topic order.

Q:   What are the department’s responsibilities?

A:  The department is responsible for the following:

  • The E-3 filing fees.
  • Paying the E-3 worker the actual wage paid to employees that are similarly employed and similarly qualified to the E-3 worker within the department, or 100% of the prevailing wage, whichever is higher.
  • Posting the Labor Condition Application in a conspicuous place in the department where it can be easily seen by workers.  Proof of the posting must be returned to the Immigration Specialist at the end of the posting period.
  • Notifying the Immigration Specialist if there are any changes to E-3 workers job duties, salary, FTE, etc.
  • Providing return transportation if the E-3 worker is terminated prior to the expiration of the E-3 petition.

Q: The E-3 seems to be just like the H-1B.  What are the differences (besides that it is reserved for Australian nationals)?

A: The main differences are:

  • The E-3 can be valid for up to 2 years at a time. The H-1B up to 3 years at a time.
  • The E-3 can be extended indefinitely. The H-1B is normally limited to six years.
  • Applying for the E-3 from outside of the U.S. does not require pre-approval from the USCIS. The H-1B requires USCIS pre-approval.
  • E-3 approval by the USCIS is required to be able to change E-3 employers. The H-1B's portability provision allows for the H-1B worker to change to the new employer as early as the date of the change-of-employer petition filing.
  • A Fraud Prevention and Detection fee does not apply in an E-3 petition. This fee applies to the initial H-1B with a given employer.
  • The dependent spouse of an E-3 worker may apply for a work permit to allow him/her to work in the U.S. The dependent spouse of an H-1B worker does not have the option of working in the U.S. in H-4 status.
  • Those in E-3 status may not apply for employment-based permanent residency. The H-1B contains the "dual intent" provision to allow H-1B workers to apply for permanent residency while in H-1B status.
  • An E-3 petition with the USCIS cannot be expedited.

Q: I will be a new UHS University employee coming from abroad with E-3 visa.  When may I enter the U.S. with my E-3 visa?

A: As early as 10 days prior to the validity start date on your E-3 visa.

Q: What path for employment-based permanent residency do I have if I’m in the U.S. in E-3 status?

A: A common path is to change from E-3 to H-1B status, since the H-1B allows dual-intent.