Maintaining E Non-Immigrant Class
The Department of State (DOS) maintains a very informative FAQ on its web site.
Required Activities for Maintaining Status
E-3 workers may enter the U.S. 10 days before the start date as specified by the employer on the Labor Condition Application (LCA) and appointment letter. They cannot work before the start date or after the end date listed on those documents. They must engage in the work for the employer that filed the LCA and in the work specified on the LCA and in the appointment letter.
E-3D dependent spouse or child is in status only while the E-3 is in status. The E-3D dependents cannot remain in the U.S. if the E-3 principal leaves the U.S. for an extended period of time. For more information see or 30-day Absence from the United States webpage.
E-3 workers may work only during the period specified on the LCA and I-94. Each period of employment has a 2-year limit, but can be renewed indefinitely. If filing an application for extension of stay, the petition must be at DHS before the expiration date on the I-94 card and may be filed up to 6 months before the expiration date on the I-94. The DVS will contact your department 6 months before your current stay expires to determine if the department wants to extend your employment.
E-3D dependent extensions are generally filed at the same time as the E-3 extension.
E-3 workers are authorized only for the employment described in the E-3 petition (e.g., title, hours, work site, duties, and so on). Employment authorization terminates on the earliest of the following dates:
- The ending date of authorized stay noted on the I-94.
- The ending date on the LCA.
- The actual date that employment ends.
- Whenever there is a substantive change in the employment (title, hours, etc. see above).
If the E-3 employment ends, the E-3 status ends. Per the DOS web site, there is 10-day “grace period” to allow time to change to a new employer.
Generally the E-3 must work for the employer that filed the LCA. Please note the following variations and the actions required.
- If the E-3 wishes to do collaborative work for multiple employers, each employer must file a separate LCA and E-3 petition (if in the U.S.) for that specific work before the work begins. This is called a concurrent E-3.
- If the employer/employee relationship ends, then the E-3 immigration class based on the specific job ends, and the E-3 worker must leave the U.S. or have another E-3 LCA filed by a new employer for new employment. If the worker is seeking transfer to or addition of a new employer or new job, then the new employer should file the new E-3 petition before the current employment ends. The E-3 permits a gap of up to 10 days between the old and new employer/employment.
- If there are substantive changes in the employment (new title or position, new department, new kind of work, etc.), then the E-3 employer must file a new E-3 petition for the new work before that work begins.
E-3 workers must file to extend their E-3 status before the current work permission ends in order to maintain status and continue uninterrupted work. Persons remaining in the U.S. may extend their stay at the same time that they extend their E-3 employment. The E-3 extension is granted in increments of no more than two years. It can be granted in shorter increments. Sometimes the extension is limited by the expiration date of the passport. Those traveling outside the U.S. sometimes extend their stay by reapplying at a U.S. embassy or consulate. In some cases those traveling abroad may need to visit a consulate to get a new visa stamp before re-entering the U.S.
E-3 dependents may apply to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for permission to work.