Sponsoring or Extending an E-3

E-3 status is for Australians in a full-time “specialty occupation” that requires a “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree, or its equivalent, as a minimum requirement” at a wage that meets the higher of the prevailing wage or the actual wage.

The E-3 requirements are similar to H-1B but does not require a petition.

    Application Process
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    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.

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    E-3 sponsorship requires that the scholar meet the following criteria:

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    Before You Sponsor

    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.

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    How to Sponsor / Extend

    CUMC departments should contact ISSO-CUMC.

    How to sponsor an E-3
    Step 1

    Gather your documents

    We need these documents for the Department of Labor (DOL) component of the E-3 application.


    Log in to the Scholar Sponsorship Portal (SSP) with your UNI and password to initiate an online application for E-3 sponsorship

    This must be initiated by the department, not the scholar. Contact us if you are a department administrator requesting access to the SSP.

      Step 3.

      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:


      Refer the prospective employee to our guidance on how to obtain a visa.

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      During Sponsorship

      This includes:

      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.

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      Extending an E-3

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      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.

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      How to Extend

      Follow the same instructions listed above for the extension.

      CUIMC departments should contact ISSO-CUIMC.