Skip to content

E-3 coming to the U.S.

Before you apply for the E-3 visa, ISO must file a Form ETA-9035 Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the U.S. Department of Labor. Once the LCA is certified, the International Scholars Operations (ISO) team will forward it to you for your visa application at the consulate.

Applicants for visas are interviewed by a U.S. consular officer. Consulates charge a fee for issuing the visa. Whenever possible, apply for the visa at a U.S. consulate in your home country. It is not possible to apply for a visa from within the U.S. The visa does not need to remain valid after you have entered the U.S. Your I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, passport, and LCA however, must remain valid at all times.

To apply for the E-3 visa, present the following documents to your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate:

  • Passport
  • Offer letter
  • Certified LCA
  • Any required U.S. licensure
  • Visa application

For more information about the visa process, contact the U.S. embassy or consulate in the city where the application will be submitted.

Family members applying for E-3D dependent visas present their passports and evidence of their relationship to you (marriage certificate for spouse, birth certificates for children) to the consulate.

Documentation Required For Entry into the U.S. in E-3 Status

Be prepared to present the following to an immigration officer when entering or reentering the U.S. in E-3 status:

  • Passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your expected stay.
  • If entering the U.S. to begin E-3 status, bring a copy of your UW employment offer letter. If you are reentering the U.S. to continue E-3 status, bring a letter from your UW employing department confirming that you are returning to continue employment in the job listed on the LCA.
  • Photocopies of the LCA. (Copies may be obtained from your host department or ISO.)
  • Valid E-3 visa stamp. If the visa has expired, it may be extended by presenting the documents listed above to a U.S. embassy or consulate.
    • A valid E-3 visa is not required for reentry to the U.S. following a visit of less than 30 days in Canada or Mexico. This is called automatic visa revalidation. With automatic revalidation, your visa will be extended to the date of reentry, eliminating the need to obtain a new visa at a U.S. consulate before that particular reentry.
    • If you apply for a new visa while in Canada or Mexico, you will not be able to return to the U.S. unless the visa is granted.

What to Expect at the Port of Entry

Arrange to enter the U.S. no sooner than 10 days prior to the start date indicated on the LCA.

  • Carry your documents with you (you will not have access to your baggage until later) and be prepared to present them to an immigration officer at the airport. These documents will be returned to you.
  • Upon entry into the U.S., the officer will stamp your passport, indicating your class of admission and period of stay.
  • You will be issued  I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. If you are issued a paper I-94 card, you will be asked to write your U.S. address on the back of it.
  • The officer will take your fingerprints and photograph and ask about your reason for coming to the U.S.
    • If the officer cannot verify your information or if you do not have all the required documentation, you may be directed to an interview area referred to as “secondary inspection.” We encourage patient cooperation with the immigration officer(s).
  • If the officer has questions about your affiliation with the University of Washington, suggest that he or she contact your employing department or ISO.
  • Admission to the U.S. is determined by the validity period on your visa stamp. Occasionally, immigration officers will add an additional 10-day departure period to your I-94 Record or entry stamp. We recommend you ask the officer to include the departure period on your I-94 Record.