Are there any special visas from Australia?
Question: I’m an Australian Citizen. Are there any special visas from Australia that I might be able to qualify for as an Australian Citizen?
Answer: Yes. The E-3 nonimmigrant classification is for Australian citizens who will perform professional “specialty occupation” assignments in the United States. E-3 status may be valid for up to two years and may be renewed indefinitely. The foreign national may apply for an E-3 visa at a U.S. consulate abroad or request a change of status or change of employer from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Dependent spouses and children of E-3 professionals hold E-3D status. E-3D spouses are eligible for employment authorization documents. An extension of E-3 status may be filed with USCIS, or the foreign national may apply for a new period of E-3 status at a U.S. consulate abroad. There is an ample annual numerical limitation of 10,500 E-3 visa numbers, and E-3 extensions and E-3D dependents are not counted towards the quota. The E-3 is actually similar to the H-1B, but is for people only from Australia.
Question: What is basically needed for this type of visa?
Answer: You must be a citizen or national of Australia. There must be a professional assignment in the United States. You need a Bachelor’s degree. You need a professional license, if required for the assignment by federal, state, or local law.
Question: What documents basically are needed?
Answer: The U.S. job description. Copies of the foreign national’s educational degrees, including transcripts. Copies of the foreign national’s professional licenses, if applicable. Foreign national’s experience letters, if applicable. A Copy of foreign national’s résumé. Basic information about the company. A Copy of biographic page(s) of passport(s) of the foreign national and any dependent spouse and children.
Question: Is there a numerical limitation on E-3 Visas?
Answer: There is a numerical limitation of 10,500 E-3 visas that may be issued annually, but “[o]nly E-3 principals who are initially being issued E-3 visas, or who are otherwise initially obtaining E-3 status,” are counted towards this cap. Neither Australian citizens who seek E-3 extensions with the same employer nor E-3D dependents are subject to the quota. Unused E-3 visa numbers “do not carry over to the next fiscal year.” The Department of State (DOS) tracks usage of the visa numbers used by the U.S. consulates and by USCIS, so if it appears that the quota will be exhausted, DOS “will instruct posts to cease E-3 issuances for that fiscal year.” It seems unlikely, however, that the cap will be reached.
Question: If I do not have a Bachelor’s Degree, can I still get the H-1B?
Answer: Generally you cannot. However, you can try to get the equivalent of the Bachelor’s Degree. There are different ways that you can try to do this. They are as follows: 1) “An evaluation” from a specific type of educational official; 2) A credentials evaluation of education prepared “by a reliable credentials evaluation service which specializes in evaluating foreign educational credentials”; 3) “The results of recognized college-level equivalency examinations or special credit programs, such as the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), or Program on Noncollegiate Sponsored Instruction (PONSI).” 4) Recognition from a professional association; or 5) USCIS determination.
However, keep in mind that even if you successfully show that you have a college degree equivalence, the position itself in the United States must require the use of that college degree.