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U.S. E-3 Visa Expiry Concerns During Covid-19 Travel Restrictions

  • By margaret mccartney
  • August 18, 2020

It is likely Australian citizens already working in the U.S. on an E-3 visa which carries up to 2-year validity may be reaching their visa expiry date.  Under prevailing Covid-19 travel restrictions and closure of U.S. global consulates, the normal requirement that a new E-3 can only be applied for outside of the U.S. poses an unprecedented problem for those E-3 holders who are already working in the U.S. and reaching their expiry date.

A temporary deviation from normal USCIS practice has been introduced whereby an E-3 holder may apply to extend their E-3 status without the need to travel offshore.  This facility can provide continuation of authorised employment for a further 240 days while the application is reviewed.  It should be noted the facility if purely an extension and not a visa. Therefore, if you depart the U.S. during the period of extension, you will not have the right to return and work unless a new E-3 or other visa is applied for while offshore.

This is an important and welcome accommodation for current E-3 visa holders to ensure their, and their employers’ immigration compliance.  However, it must be noted that additional steps are required to achieve a conclusive outcome.  Expat International will be pleased to discuss and activate the necessary measures to ensure positive outcomes.

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