E-3 Visa for Australian Nationals who are Temporary Workers in Specialty Occupations

E-3 visa status is a temporary, nonimmigrant category only available to nationals of the Commonwealth of Australia. Those eligible include professionals in specialty occupations (requiring “the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge”).

MIT employment-based sponsorship for E-3 status may be available for salaried positions on the (1) academic staff; and 2) for certain sponsored research positions at the Postdoctoral Associate level and above, whose predominant responsibility is conducting direct research. Among those who do not qualify for MIT sponsorship are affiliates (non-employees such as postdoctoral fellows and research fellows), persons on “visiting,” administrative, technical, library, management, and support staff appointments. Scholars in E-3 status who are appointed at MIT must register with the ISchO.

Application Procedures

ISchO will help determine the appropriate visa and will assist the authorized departmental administrator, faculty sponsor, and prospective appointee with E-3 applications. ISchO is the only authorized petitioner to the U.S. Department of Labor and to USCIS for E-3 status based on MIT employment. Outside attorneys and agents are not authorized to do this work. E-3 status is available in two-year increments only. There are a limited number of E-3 visas available each year. In all cases, funding levels must meet U.S. Department of Labor prevailing wage guidelines.

An MIT appointment is only authorized once a scholar is admitted in E-3 status or USCIS has approved a change to E-3. If an individual is in E-3 status for employment elsewhere, that individual is authorized for MIT employment only if MIT files and obtains approval of an E-3 petition from USCIS; OR the individual leaves the US and reenters with a new employment letter from MIT, following DOL certification of an MIT Labor Condition Application.

Dependent E-3 Spouses and Children

The dependent spouse and children of an E-3 principal may be granted E-3 classification. An E-3 dependent may apply for work permission from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Once granted, E-3 spouses may work anywhere and at any level in the United States. USCIS will issue an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), a small laminated photo ID card, as proof of employability. E-3s must have employment authorization in order to be placed on MIT academic or research staff appointment (whether paid or unpaid) and, if on appointment, must register with the ISchO.

Page updated August 2023