News - September 2, 2005

E-3 Visa Regulations Permit New Visas for Australian Professionals

The Department of State today published regulations to implement the new E-3 visa category, for Australian nationals coming to the United States to perform services in a specialty occupation.

These new visas were authorized on May 11, 2005, when President Bush signed into law the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief of 2005.

The new E-3 visas are similar in some ways to the H-1B category: they are for professional workers, and require employers to file of prevailing wage information with the Department of Labor. However, E-3 visas are valid for two years and can be extended indefinitely.

The law permits U.S. consulates worldwide to issue up to 10,500 E-3 visas each fiscal year. The coming year begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.


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