E-3 Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the E-3 visa?

The E-3 visa allows Australian citizens to work temporarily in the U.S. in a specialty occupation, which typically requires a higher education degree or its equivalent.

Is the E-3 visa only for Australian citizens?

Yes, the E-3 visa is exclusively available to Australian citizens and their spouses and children.

What is a "specialty occupation"?

A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field as a minimum entry requirement.

Can I apply for an E-3 visa while in the U.S. or changing my status from another visa category?

Yes, eligible applicants can apply for a change of status to E-3 if they are already in the U.S., or they can apply for the E-3 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.

How long can I stay in the U.S. on an E-3 visa?

E-3 visa holders can stay in the U.S. for up to two years initially, with extensions allowed in two-year increments. There is no maximum limit on the number of extensions.

Can my family members accompany me on an E-3 visa?

Yes, spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age can accompany the E-3 visa holder. Spouses can also apply for work authorization in the U.S.

Can my spouse work in the U.S. on an E-3 visa?

Yes, spouses of E-3 visa holders can apply for work authorization to work in the U.S.

Can I change employers while on an E-3 visa?

Yes, E-3 visa holders can change employers, but the new employer must file a new Labor Condition Application (LCA) and receive approval.

Can I apply for permanent residency (a green card) while on an E-3 visa?

E-3 visa holders are considered non-immigrants and must maintain their non-immigrant status. Applying for permanent residency directly from an E-3 status is not allowed, but you can pursue a green card through other means.

Is there a cap on the number of E-3 visas issued each year?

Yes, there is an annual numerical limit (or “cap”) on the number of E-3 visas issued each fiscal year. However, this cap is specific to Australian citizens and has historically not been reached.

How do I demonstrate that I am working in a specialty occupation?

You will need to provide evidence of your qualifications, job description, and the specialized nature of your occupation to show that it meets the criteria of a specialty occupation.

Can I travel outside the U.S. while on an E-3 visa?

E-3 visa holders can travel in and out of the U.S. during the validity of their visa. A valid E-3 visa and appropriate documentation are required for re-entry.
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Dana Davidson - Full Bio

Dana T. Davidson holds degrees from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and State University of New York at Stony Brook and has been practicing immigration law since 2003 in New York and nationwide. She represents corporations, individuals, and families in a broad range of immigration matters. Attorney Davidson has offices in New York City and Glen Cove.


  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, New York, New York
  • Juris Doctor – 1988
  • Honors: Moot Court Board, Member, Judge
  • State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York
  • Bachelor of Arts – 1982
  • Major: Political Science
  • Concentration: Business

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Safe Passage Project, Volunteer Attorney, 2013-Present
  • Educating the Educators, Founder, 2012-Present
  • Momentum Project, Board Member, 1991-1994 Bar Admission
  • New York, Eastern District
  • New York, Southern District
  • Washington, D.C.

Speaking Engagements
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2018, Berlin, Germany, Speaker on “Public Charge” panel
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Fall Conference 2018, Johannesburg, South Africa, Speaker: “Practice Management in the New Age” panel
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2018, Madrid, Spain, Speaker: “El Traje de Luces: Self-Sponsored Petitions – EB-1A and NIW”  AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2017, Brussels, Belgium, Speaker: “Continuing Blanket L Challenges”
  • Safe Passage Project, March 2017, Speaker: “Representing Unaccompanied Minors: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and the Effects of President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration”
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Fall Conference 2016, Speaker: “It’s Not About Money: I-864”
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2016, Vienna, Austria, Speaker: “K-Visa: Differences Between K-1 and I-130 Processing”
  • New York Institute of Technology’s Center for Entrepreneurship, January 2016, Entrepreneur/Executive-in-Residence
  • AILA Fall Conference 2015, London, UK, Speaker: Impact of joint sponsors on family-based cases
  • Goldman-Sachs 10,000 Small Business Education Program, October 2014, “What is required to grow a business?”
  • Dowling College, May 2013, Keynote Speaker at the first annual Latino Summit at Dowling College
  • International Taxation Conference, 2010