E-3 for Departments

The E-3 visa category applies only to Australian nationals. This category is similar to the H-1B, as it is a specialty occupation visa. The work the E-3 will engage in must require a bachelor's degree or higher to meet the high level of expertise necessary for the position. This visa is fit for all types of university faculty and staff positions. E-3 visas should be requested for a minimum of two years.

Applying for an E-3 visa

All forms associated with the E-3 can be found here under the 'Departments' heading.

If your department would like to apply for an E-3 for an Australian national:

  • Outside the United States or in the US in a different visa category, you will apply for an E-3 Australian.
  • Who already holds this visa category at Northwestern and would like to extend the end date (and possibly change his/her job specifications), you will apply for an E-3 Extension (EOS).
  • Who already holds this visa category at Northwestern and would like to change the job specifications of their current E-3, you would apply for an Amended E-3.
  • Who holds this visa category at another institution and will be transferring to Northwestern, you will apply for a Change of Employer (COE) E-3.
  • Who holds this visa category at another institution and will collaborate with Northwestern for a salary or stipend, you will apply for a Concurrent E-3.

E-3 Australian

Initial E-3 applications are for Australian nationals outside the U.S. and those currently in the U.S. in other visa categories such as F-1, J-1, B1/B2, etc. This process is referred to as a change of status (COS) in the US.

Processing Time: Petitions can only be started 6 months prior to the foreign national's employment start date. Please keep in mind IO processing times are subject to change based on processing volume.

  • IO: Complete applications require 2 weeks processing time.
  • Overseas: No processing; visa will be adjudicated at the US Embassy in Australia
  • USCIS (for COS applications): A receipt notice is sent approximately 3 to 4 weeks after submission. Approval is sent approximately 3 to 4 months after receiving petition from the IO.

If an application is submitted within one month of the E-3 beneficiary's start-date, an IO Rush Fee of $125 will apply.

Processing Flow:

  • Department submits request to IO
  • IO prepares the PW and LCA
  • IO emails the LCA to the department
  • Department posts LCA for 10 days
  • Department returns LCA to IO
  • IO prepares E-3 packet for the Australian National to take to US Embassy
  • IO gives package to Department to send to E-3.

Visa Document for Employment Eligibility:

  • If the E-3 Beneficiary is currently overseas, s/he will need his/her E-3 visa stamp and I-94 card
  • If the E-3 Beneficiary is currently in another visa status and will be changing status in the U.S., the USICS approval notice (I-797C) is required for the E-3 beneficiary to work at Northwestern University.

Dependents:

  • If the Australian national is currently outside the U.S., he/she is not required to complete any additional paperwork for his/her dependents (spouse and children).
  • If the Australian national and his/her dependents are currently in the U.S. in another visa category, the Australian national will have to file the I-539 form to change his/her dependents status. This I-539 should be included in this initial E-3 filing.

Department Application:

  1. Complete the New Employee, New Process - Intake Form in Immigration Tracker.
    For Immigration Tracker access please contact Scholar Services at intscholars@northwestern.edu.
  2. Collect the documents on the E-3 Department Checklist.
  3. Please direct the Australian national to the E-3 Beneficiary Checklist.

E-3 Extension

E-3 Extension (EOS) applications are for Australian nationals who currently hold an E-3 at Northwestern University and will remain in the same position (or possibly change his/her job specifications) with an extension in his/her employment end date.

Processing Time: Petitions can only be started 6 months prior to the foreign national's employment start date. Please keep in mind IO and USCIS processing times are subject to change based on processing volume.

  • IO: Complete applications may take 3 to 4 weeks to process.
  • USCIS: The Receipt and Approval Notices are sent approximately 2 to 3 weeks after submission to USCIS. 

If an application is submitted within one month of the E-3 beneficiary's start-date, an IO Rush Fee of $125 will apply.

Processing Flow:

  1. Departments submit request to IO
  2. IO prepares the PW and LCA
  3. IO emails the LCA to the department
  4. Department posts LCA for 10 days
  5. Department returns LCA to IO
  6. IO prepares E-3 petition and mails it to USCIS

Visa Document for Employment Eligibility:

  • USCIS Receipt Notice needed before individual can start work due to portability provisions

Dependents: The E-3 beneficiary will have to file the I-539 form to extend his/her dependents' status. This I-539 should be included in this E-3 extension filing.

Department Application:

  1. Complete the New Process Intake Form for Existing Employee in Immigration Tracker. For Immigration Tracker access please contact Scholar Services at intscholars@northwestern.edu.
  2. Collect the documents on the E-3 Department Checklist.
  3. Please direct the Australian national to the E-3 Beneficiary Checklist.

Amended E-3

Amended E-3 applications are for Australian nationals (AN) who currently hold an E-3 at Northwestern University, but have recently had or will have a change in his/her job specifications, such as a promotion, transfer for departments, salary increase, etc.

Please complete the Department Transfer/Amended Position Inquiry prior to filing an Amended E-3 application. Some changes may not require a re-filing of the E-3.

Processing Time: Petitions can only be started 6 months prior to the foreign national's employment start date. Please keep in mind IO and USCIS processing times are subject to change based on processing volume.

  • IO: Complete applications may take 3 to 4 weeks to process.
  • USCIS: The Receipt and Approval Notices are sent approximately 2 to 3 weeks after submission to USCIS. 

If an application is submitted within one month of the H-1B beneficiary's start-date, an IO Rush Fee of $125 will apply.

Processing Flow:

  1. Departments submit request to IO
  2. IO prepares the PW and LCA
  3. IO emails the LCA to the department
  4. Department posts LCA for 10 days
  5. Department returns LCA to IO
  6. IO prepares E-3 petition and mails it to USCIS

Visa Document for Employment Eligibility:

  • USCIS Receipt Notice needed before individual can start work due to portability provisions

Dependents: The E-3 beneficiary will have to file the I-539 form to extend his/her dependents' status. This I-539 should be included in this H-1B extension filing.

Department Application:

Change of empolyer E-3

Change of Employer (COE) E-3 applications are for Australian nationals who currently hold an E-3 at another institution (non-profit or for-profit) and will be starting employment to NU.

Processing Time: Petitions can only be started 6 months prior to the foreign national's employment start date. Please keep in mind IO and USCIS processing times are subject to change based on processing volume.

  • IO: Complete applications may take 3 to 4 weeks to process.
  • USCIS: The Receipt and Approval Notices are sent approximately 2 to 3 weeks after submission to USCIS. 

If an application is submitted within one month of the E-3 beneficiary's start-date, an IO Rush Fee of $125 will apply.

Processing Flow:

  1. Departments submit request to IO
  2. IO prepares the PW and LCA
  3. IO emails the LCA to the department
  4. Department posts LCA for 10 days
  5. Department returns LCA to IO
  6. IO prepares E-3 petition and mails it to USCIS

Visa Document for Employment Eligibility:

  • USCIS Receipt Notice needed before individual can start work due to portability provisions

Dependents: If this application includes an extension, the E-3 beneficiary will have to file the I-539 form to extend his/her dependents status. This I-539 should be included in this E-3 extension filing. If there is no request to extend the beneficiary's end date, then an I-539 is not necessary.

Department Application:

  1. Complete the New Process Intake Form for Existing Employee in Immigration Tracker. For Immigration Tracker access please contact Scholar Services at intscholars@northwestern.edu.
  2. Collect the documents on the E-3 Department Checklist.
  3. Please direct the Australian national to the E-3 Beneficiary Checklist.

Concurrent E-3 Applications

Concurrent E-3 applications are for Australian nationals who currently hold an E-3 at another institution (non-profit or for profit) and will either work part-time, full-time or make contributions to NU.

Processing Time: Petitions can only be started 6 months prior to the foreign national's employment start date. Please keep in mind IO and USCIS processing times are subject to change based on processing volume.

  • IO: Complete applications may take 3 to 4 weeks to process.
  • USCIS: The Receipt and Approval Notices are sent approximately 2 to 3 weeks after submission to USCIS. 

If an application is submitted within one month of the E-3 beneficiary's start-date, an IO Rush Fee of $125 will apply.

Processing Flow:

  1. Departments submit request to IO
  2. IO prepares the PW and LCA
  3. IO emails the LCA to the department
  4. Department posts LCA for 10 days
  5. Department returns LCA to IO
  6. IO prepares E-3 petition and mails it to USCIS

Visa Document for Employment Eligibility:

  • USCIS Receipt Notice needed before individual can start work due to portability provisions

Dependents: Dependents should be maintained on the dominant E-3. If NU E-3 is dominant then please see Extension or Amended E-3 applications procedures.

Department Application:

  1. Complete the New Process Intake Form for Existing Employee in Immigration Tracker. For Immigration Tracker access please contact Scholar Services at intscholars@northwestern.edu.
  2. Collect the documents on the E-3 Department Checklist.
  3. Please direct the Australian national to the E-3 Beneficiary Checklist.