Sponsoring or Extending an E-3
USCIS Raises I-129 fee for E-3 to $695 effective October 2, 2020
Most employees obtain E-3 status by entering the US after obtaining an E-3 visa abroad and therefore do not require an -129 petition. However, the option exists. We encourage all departments to send us complete application materials (with checks and all supporting documents) for new visa sponsorship and extensions of sponsorship during August to avoid the higher fee. Applications submitted to the ISSO in September must include the higher fee.
E-3 sponsorship requires that the scholar meet the following criteria:
- must be an Australian citizen
- must be in a full-time position as an Officer of Research or Officer of Instruction
- the salary meets Department of Labor prevailing wage requirements
Before You Sponsor
- Australians seeking an alternative to H-1B
- Allowing dependent family members to apply for employment authorization
- By applying directly for a visa at a U.S. consulate in Australia
- Through a Columbia University petition filed by ISSO with USCIS
Begin the process immediately, once the position has been offered. Processing time will depend on whether E-3 status is obtained by travel or inside the U.S.
Visa application at a U.S. consulate is recommended over a petition within the U.S.
Application by I-129 petition to the USCIS inside the U.S. is not recommended as USCIS processing time is unpredictable, lengthy, and cannot be expedited through Premium Processing. We recommend that the E-3 status be obtained through travel.
How to Sponsor / Extend
Gather your documents
We need these documents for the Department of Labor (DOL) component of the E-3 application.
- Cover Sheet
- Curriculum Vitae, needed for us to select appropriate specialized field. (No CV needed for extensions of the same position)
- Prevailing Wage Request Form
- A copy of the job description. If the job was posted in RAPS, we need a copy of that description.
We will contact you
Wait for us to confirm that the position meets Department of Labor eligibility.
Receive the LCA
When we receive the certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor, we will email you for pick-up at our office, in the Nash Building, 3280 Broadway, Suite 510. The processing time is dependent on the individual application, but generally within 20 days.
Prepare a letter for your scholar’s visa application
This for the prospective E-3 to take to a consulate, preferably in Australia.
The letter should:
- be printed on department letterhead
- state the job title
- state the requirements for the position including the degree and field of study needed
- state the job duties
- state the dates of employment (up to two years)
- state the salary (the salary has to meet the prevailing wage on the LCA)
- a new or additional location
- different duties
- change in title
- change in amount or source of funding
Failure to notify us may result in fines imposed on the University and the barring of one year of the hiring of E-3 employees.
Extending an E-3
Before You Extend
E-3 status can be granted for a two-year period at a time. Although there is no time limit for E-3 status it does require "nonimmigrant intent" and the individual may face increasing scrutiny if they continue to extend over a period of years.