USCIS announced that, starting today, it is expanding premium processing services to E-3 petitioners. This is welcome news as previously premium processing was not available for this category, and lengthy processing times meant that it was often much more feasible for employers to send their E-3 beneficiary abroad to apply for the E-3 visa directly at the embassy/consulate.
Copied from USCIS:
Starting Feb. 24, 2021, petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting a change or extension of status to E-3 classification will have the option to request premium processing service for their petition. The E-3 classification applies only to nationals of Australia who are coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation.
An Australian national who is outside the United States may apply for an E-3 nonimmigrant visa directly through the Department of State or, in the case of an individual already in the U.S., by filing Form I-129 with USCIS. To qualify for the E-3 classification, you must demonstrate, among other things, that you:
- Are a national of Australia;
- Have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States;
- Possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials; and
- Will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation.
The USCIS premium processing service allows petitioners to pay an additional filing fee to expedite the adjudication of certain forms, generally within 15 days.
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