E-3 Status

The E-3 is the nonimmigrant employment classification used for the temporary employment of professionals who are Australian citizens. E-3 status is designed only for Australian citizens who are or will be employed in a “specialty occupation,” which requires:

  • The theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge to fully perform the occupation, and
  • The completion of a baccalaureate degree or higher in that specific occupational specialty.

E-3 status is valid for a two year period (which can be renewed indefinitely) and can be moved from one employer to another, but only after the new employer files its own petition with USCIS or works with the new employee in Australia to obtain a new E-3 visa linked to its sponsorship. There is an annual limit of 10,500 E-3 professionals every government fiscal year (which does not include spouses or children). Although E-3 status can be renewed indefinitely, please note that the E-3 employee must always be able to demonstrate to the U.S. government’s satisfaction that he/she does NOT intend to remain in the U.S. permanently and has a ‘permanent’ home in another country.

Please contact the International Employment Manager at 919-515-4518 immediately if you are trying to sponsor someone for an SHRA position, before you begin to prepare any paperwork. There are some SHRA positions that do not qualify for E-3 status, and we will not be able to provide immigration sponsorship for those positions, regardless of the educational and experience credentials of the candidate.

Information and Requirements

Initiation of E-3 Process


E-3 status requires a petitioner or sponsor (NC State University), and the employee may only work for that specific petitioner, unless he/she has additional, independent work authorization or a concurrent E-3 sponsor.

The sponsoring NC State Department, not the foreign national employee, must initiate all petitions and extensions. The E-3 information packet must be submitted to International Employment (IE) as far in advance as possible (three to six months in advance is preferred) to ensure timely processing.

Note: If the department does not send the E-3 initiation packet to International Employment (IE) with enough time to reasonably obtain the status in the timeframe requested, IE cannot guarantee timely processing or that the person will be able to start working for the department in E-3 status by the requested start date.

International Taxation

Please note that all foreign nationals employed at NC State University are required to meet with the International Compensation & Taxation unit at the time that they first become employed.  Foreign nationals are also required to notify this unit of any changes in nonimmigrant status, employment and residential address.  To schedule an appointment or notify this unit of such changes, please send an email to ictquestions@ncsu.edu.