Australian National (E-3) Employees

The E-3 specialty occupation visa category is for Australian nationals (AN).

Visa summary:

  • Visa-holders are skilled workers with a bachelor's degree or higher.
  • Visas can be held for an unlimited amount of time. The initial visa and extensions have 2-year increments.
  • The IO only accepts E-3 requests from NU sponsoring departments, which must confirm sponsorship of an E-3 before an AN can apply.
  • Dependents of the E-3 beneficiary hold E-3 dependent visa status. Jump to more on bringing dependents.

Types of E-3 visa applications

There are several different types of E-3 visas, depending on whether you are a new or current E-3 visa-holder.

Applying for an initial E-3 visa

Initial E-3 applications are for Australian nationals (AN) outside the U.S. and those currently in the U.S. in other visa categories such as F-1, J-1, B1/B2, etc. Find application procedures and checklists.

Extending or amending an E-3

If you are an E-3 beneficiary who needs to update your status in some way, you will fall into one of the following E-3 types:

  • E-3 COE (Change of Employer) are transferring to Northwestern from another institution.
  • E-3 EOS (Extension) would like to extend employment end-date
  • E-3 Amend hold an E-3 at Northwestern but need to change details such as job title, job description, salary, or hours worked.

Find extension/amendment procedures and checklists.

Bringing spouses and family members

Dependents (husband/wife, and/or unmarried children under the age of 21) of E-3 beneficiaries fall into the E-3 dependent category. When E-3 dependent children reach the age of 21 years old, they will "age out" of the E-3 dependent visa category and will have to obtain their own visa status in an appropriate category.

Activities in E-3 dependent status

  • Study: E-3 dependents are eligible for full-time and part-time study.
  • Employment: E-3 dependents are eligible for full or part time employment with an Employment Authorization Document Card (EAD). E-3 dependents must complete the form I-765 for E-3 dependent employment authorization.

Required documentation

  • Applying for an initial E-3: Dependents do not need to file additional documentation. Dependents use E-3 supporting documentation to apply for the visa and do not receive their own Approval Notices).
  • Extending or changing status: The dependent must file Form I-539 to change his/her status in any way, including changing to a different visa category, extending the E-3 end-date, or documenting the beneficiary's change of employer.

Please review the our guidelines and tips for filing the I-539. You may submit this form to the IO for review or you may choose to file it yourself.