E-3 Visa Renewals – Once you have been approved for your E-3 visa, there are a few things to keep in mind to maintain your E-3 visa.
E-3 visas are valid in 2-year increments and can be renewed every 2 years. While 2 years may seem far off, it is important to plan ahead for the visa renewal.
In most cases, you will need to travel internationally to renew your E-3 visa. In order to obtain a new visa stamp, you are required to attend a visa appointment in person at a US Consulate, (similar to your first E-3 visa appointment). Most E-3 visa holders will plan this appointment during a trip back to Australia as it is often easiest to secure appointments at a US Consulate inAustralia.
As with all international travel and US immigration issues, you will want to make sure to PLAN AHEAD for you E-3 Visa Renewals!
Depending on your specific situation, such as employment in the United States and travel plans, it is critical to plan well in advance of your visa expiration to ensure a seamless renewal.
US Consulates in Australia and globally are currently experiencing higher delays and backlogs than they have in recent years. A few years ago, it could have been possible to obtain an E-3 appointment in a week or two – currently, even in Australia, the backlogs can be over a month.
You will also want to make sure to plan well in advance of your E-3 expiration date if your spouse is working with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD card). EAD extensions can only be filed after you have renewed your E-3 status in the United States – typically, after you have obtained a new E-3D visa for your spouse. In the past, EAD extensions only took about 2-3 months to be approved. Currently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services can take up to 6-7 months to process EAD applications.
Finally, E-3 visa policy often changes. While the E-3 visa often goes ‘under the radar’ from immigration politics and the national publicity of the immigration debate in the United States, this does not keep the E-3 visa immune from policy changes.
Many times, with the E-3 visa, independent US Consulates determine their own policy in relation to discretionary points of law. Here at Worldwide Migration Partners we have seen numerous changes in E-3 visa interpretations over the past few years, whereas the actual regulations have not changed at all. It is critical to plan in advance with the right legal team to ensure that your E-3 employment will not be impacted.
Whether or not you worked with Worldwide Migration Partners on your original E-3 application, we would be happy to assist in your E-3 renewal wherever you plan to submit the application. Our team follows E-3 visa policy trends, timing issues, and closely monitors the E-3 visa as we are the largest US immigration law firm in Australia.