As most applicants who prepare their own E-3 visa are aware, the basic requirements to qualify include: (1) be an Australian citizen; (2) have already received a U.S. job offer which qualifies as a Specialty Occupation; and (3) possess a Bachelor's degree or, as a guide, 12 years of professional industry experience.
The second requirement is the one in which applicants can frequently run into problems. Although applicants are usually aware they must possess a Bachelor’s degree (or the professional experience amounting to the equivalent of the degree), it’s critical to remember that the offered position must actually require a degree as part of the minimum requirements. This is a factor under the control of the employer, and not the future employee. A position that does not require a Bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement for the position, though lists a degree as desired criteria, will generally not meet the standard of a Specialty Occupation. Also, for example, if the U.S. position requires a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in Accounting, or similar field, the applicant must actually possess that degree (or its equivalent), or a degree in a similar professional field. Applicants should keep in mind that the condition that the U.S. position require a degree, is very different to the question of whether the applicant has a degree, or the equivalent of one. Being aware of these distinctions as well as each element can go a long way to help prevent a denial of an E-3 application in Australia.