The employee must have a valid E-3 visa from a U.S. consular office in order to apply for E-3 admission at a U.S. port of entry. An employee that already has an E-3 visa that will be considered valid on the date of arrival in the U.S. does not need to apply for a new E-3 visa.
To apply for an E-3 visa, the employee should visit the U.S. Department of State’s embassies and consulates website to view the visa application requirements and make an appointment for a visa interview. It is best to try to apply at the U.S. embassy or consulate having jurisdiction over the place of residence, although they may apply at any U.S. embassy or consulate worldwide that allows E-3 visa applications from third-country nationals.
E-3 visa application requirements vary by consulates and embassies, and the employee should check directly with the specific U.S. consulate or embassy on the requirements for the visa application.
In general, E-3 visa applications must include:
- DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application confirmation page.
- Visa interview appointment confirmation page.
- Proof of payment of visa fees.
- Passport-style photo(s) that meet DOS nonimmigrant visa photo requirements.
- Valid passport.
- Certified LCA and department support letter (sent to the beneficiary in a separate email)*.
- Any other documents required by the specific U.S. embassy or consulate.
*Beneficiaries should review the LCA and pay special attention to the support letter to understand how their job has been described to the U.S. government. This information may be useful when applying for the E-3 visa and requesting admission to the U.S. at a port of entry.
Foreign nationals are required to have a valid E-3 visa (stamp in the passport) in order to enter the U.S. E-3 employees can enter the U.S. up to 10 days prior to the start date listed on the LCA for the E-3 Approval Notice. If the employee has any family members who will come to the U.S. as dependents, please view the E-3D outside the U.S. section below.
Foreign nationals are not guaranteed admittance to the U.S. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the port of entry will review all documents and ask about the reason for entry. These officers have the discretion to admit a person in E-3 status and any family members in E-3D status or refer them to a more detailed secondary inspection.
When the E-3 employee is admitted into the U.S., all documents should be returned and an admission date should be placed in the passport with the notation “E-3” (worker) or “E-3D” (dependent) and date indicating the period of authorized stay in the U.S. It is good practice to access and print the I-94 arrival record on U.S. Customs and Border Protection I-94 website. The admission stamp and the I-94 printout are proof of admission and legal immigration status in the U.S.
Foreign national employees and their family members should keep copies of their passport identification/expiration pages, visas, admission stamps and I-94 records permanently in case any of these documents are lost or stolen.