USCIS Expands Premium Processing to E-3 Australian Nonimmigrants
Pasricha & Patel
Beginning on February 24, 2021, U.S. employers who are filing for change of status or extension of status to E-3 Australian nonimmigrant worker classification can file Form I-129, and also request premium processing service for their petitions by paying the required $2,500.00 premium processing fee in addition the regular Form I-129 filing fee.
Premium processing allows the expedited processing of various petitions in fifteen (15) calendar days upon receipt by the USCIS.
E-3 visa classification applies to Australian nationals who are coming to the United States to provide service in specialty occupation.
As a reminder, an Australian national who is outside the U.S. would apply for the E-3 nonimmigrant visa at the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy that accepts such E-3 visa applications. For those Australian nationals who are already in the U.S., they would have their U.S. employer file Form I-129 with the USCIS.
In order to qualify under E-3 visa classification, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that they:
- Are an Australian national;
- Have a legitimate offer of employment in the U.S.;
- Possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials; and
- Will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation.
This expansion of the premium processing service to include E-3 visa petition is welcome news to those Australian nationals who would have had to file their Form I-129 extension petitions months in advance, and they would have had to wait for the USCIS to approve their I-129 petitions first before they can engage in employment in the United States.
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Should you have any questions about this latest news, or if you have any questions about other aspects of immigration, we encourage you to contact our office for formal consultation and we can assist you further.