In 2005, a deal was made in the US Congress that was largely unnoticed in the US, abroad and even in Australia, whose citizens would most benefit from this deal. For the first time in any sort of recent modern history, the US Government created a visa (the E-3 visa) that was specifically designed for citizens of one country. So to even get access to this visa you had to be a citizen of Australia, although dependents like spouses and children under 21 years of age do not have to be Australian citizens to access the E3D Visa which is the dependent classification.
Yes there is a TN visa created as a result of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) for Canadian and Mexican Nationals but that is two countries. Also within the H-1B cap there is allocation for Singaporian and Chilean citizens but that again is not a separate visa created for one country.
The E-Class of visas, (the E-1 and E-2) which this new Australian only visa falls under were general access for people coming to the US under some sort of treaty or investment agreement between the US and a foreign country.
So suddenly the E-3 visa was born and 10,500 of these visas were made available from October 2005 annually (so October - September is one year). Extensions/Renewals are not counted against this quota and nor are the dependents.
So far, the quota has never even been close to being reached.
Additionally unlike the H-1B visa which is always over subscribed, there is also;
- No set dates to apply and begin work meaning you can apply at any time of year and then begin work straight away.
- No fees for the employer to pay to apply and only one form to get approved with Department of Labor (no submissions to the USCIS - United States Custom and Immigration Service required).
- Spouses can work under the terms of this visa.
- It is renewable indefinitely and each term of the visa is for 2 years.
The Irish Government is currently lobbying the US Government to create a similar visa category for their citizens. Additionally other countries as they are becoming more aware of this new visa (which is still even unknown in US Immigration circles) are trying to get on board as well.
CJ helps Immigrants with their H1B Visa and E3 Visa questions so they have all the right answers as they move to and begin a life in the US.
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