Maintaining E-3 Compliance

E-3 duration
E-3 extensions
Changes to E-3 employment
Travel abroad & reentry to the U.S.
Reporting new home addresses to USCIS
Dual intent


E-3 duration

An initial period of up to two years of E-3 status can be granted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at a U.S. port of entry or by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) through a UH-filed petition. Subsequent E-3 extensions of up to two years at a time can be requested thereafter via the same means. There is no regulatory limit on the number of extensions that are possible, but E-3 status is intended for temporary employment.

Period of authorized stay

It is extremely important to be aware of the period of authorized stay on the employee’s I-94 record or admission stamp, as applicable. If the I-94/admission stamp expiration date will occur before the employee resigns or the E-3 authorization expires and UH has not filed an E-3 extension petition with USCIS, the worker’s legal status may end on the I-94/admission stamp date. As a result, the person must leave the U.S. on or before this date to avoid accruing unlawful presence.

Departments should notify FSIS before an employee ends E-3 employment at UH.

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E-3 extensions

There are two ways E-3 authorization can be extended: (A) the employee applies for entry to the U.S. from abroad with a new E-3 visa and other required documents or (B) UH files a USCIS petition while the worker remains in the U.S.

In either case, the UH sponsoring unit must submit an E-3 extension request packet to FSIS by the recommended deadlines (see below). Submission of a late request may delay an E-3 employee’s employment continuation date or even result in the loss of legal immigration status in the U.S.

(A) E-3 entry request (B) E-3 petition request
This option is most appropriate when the employee plans to travel abroad and reenter to apply for a new E-3 employment period. UH must receive approval of a new labor condition application (LCA) from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) before the worker can apply for E-3 entry.

Submit this type of request to FSIS through the college/school HR specialist no later than 45 days prior to the E-3 extension start date, which is normally back-to-back with the current E-3 expiration date. The current E-3 end date will be stated on the worker’s I-94 or E-3 approval notice, as applicable.

The links below explain the procedures to extend E-3 authorization by entry to the U.S.:

1. The department prepares an E-3 request.

2. FSIS processes the request and sends the approved LCA and other documents to the unit’s HR specialist. The department should give these documents to the employee.

3. The employee applies for E-3 entry to the U.S. If the worker needs a new visa, departments should consider the waiting periods for visa interview appointments and visa issuance. Plan ahead to allow enough time for the employee and any family members to obtain the necessary visas to enter the U.S.

Use this option when the employee is already in the U.S. and cannot depart and reenter to extend E-3 authorization. FSIS will prepare a E-3 petition that must be submitted to USCIS well before the E-3 end date.

Submit this type of request to FSIS through the college/school HR specialist no later than 4 months prior to the E-3 extension start date, which must be back-to-back with the current E-3 expiration date. The current E-3 end date will be stated on the worker’s I-94 or E-3 approval notice, as applicable.

The links below explain the procedures to extend E-3 authorization by USCIS petition:

1. The department prepares an E-3 request.

2. FSIS processes the request and sends the completed petition to the unit’s HR specialist. Please note:

  • USCIS’s premium processing service is not available for E-3 petitions.
  • USCIS must approve an E-3 petition by the current E-3 end date for employment to continue uninterrupted. If the petition is filed but not approved by the E-3 end date, the employee must stop working. Employment may resume once the petition is approved.
  • UH can request up to 2 years on E-3 petitions.
  • UH can submit a petition to USCIS up to 6 months prior to the E-3 extension start date.
  • Consult with FSIS if the employee is planning to travel abroad while an E-3 petition is pending.
  • The department should ask the E-3 beneficiary about any family members who may require an E-3D change of status or extension. If so, include the family’s documents in the E-3 request packet.

3. FSIS emails the E-3 petition filing fee amount and USCIS mailing address options to the HR specialist. The college/school/department (as appropriate) should request the filing fee check, indicating that the check be returned to the unit. The unit should then hand-deliver the check and one of the following types of mailing labels to FSIS as soon as possible:

  • Pre-paid FedEx mailing label;
  • Pre-paid USPS Priority Mail mailing label; or
  • 2 mail bar code labels for mailing by USPS Certified Mail (Manoa units only).

4. FSIS mails the petition with the filing fee to USCIS.

5. USCIS reviews the petition and renders a decision. If approved, USCIS will issue a Form I-797A or I-797B approval notice.

  • If I-797A: Employment can continue uninterrupted.
  • If I-797B: The worker must follow the E-3 entry procedures to “activate” the authorization.

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Changes to E-3 employment

E-3 work authorization is specific to the employer that filed the labor condition application (LCA) and/or petition and covers only the particular position for which the LCA/petition was filed. This means another employer cannot hire an E-3 worker using a UH-filed LCA or petition approval; it also means UH must report and receive authorization to make substantial changes to an E-3 employee’s job before the changes become effective.

Some of the most common changes for which UH must obtain prior approval include:

  • Appointment to a position with a new title (e.g. Junior Researcher to Assistant Researcher);
  • Moving to or adding a new worksite; or
  • Significant changes to duties, such as taking on teaching.

There are two ways changes can be made to E-3 authorization: (A) the employee applies for entry to the U.S. from abroad with updated documents or (B) UH files a USCIS petition while the worker remains in the U.S.

In either case, the UH sponsoring unit must submit an E-3 request packet to FSIS by the recommended deadlines (see below). Submission of a late request may delay an E-3 employee’s employment continuation date or even result in the loss of legal immigration status in the U.S.

(A) E-3 entry request (B) E-3 petition request
This option is most appropriate when the employee plans to travel abroad and reenter to apply for changes to E-3 employment authorization. UH must receive approval of a new labor condition application (LCA) from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) before the worker can apply for E-3 entry.

Submit this type of request to FSIS through the college/school HR specialist no later than 45 days prior to the E-3 start date, which is the anticipated effective date of the changes.

The links below explain the procedures to amend E-3 employment authorization by entry to the U.S.:

1. The department prepares an E-3 request.

2. FSIS processes the request and sends the approved LCA and other documents to the unit’s HR specialist. The department should give these documents to the employee.

3. The employee applies for E-3 entry to the U.S. using an updated LCA and other documents. If the worker needs to apply for a new visa, note that there are often waiting periods for visa interview appointments and visa issuance, so it’s important to plan ahead to allow enough time for the employee and any family members to obtain the necessary visas to enter the U.S.

Note: If the worker is concurrently working for multiple employers, at the U.S embassy/consulate and/or port of entry, letters and other documents from each employer must be presented to ensure authorization covering all employment is granted.

Use this option when the employee is already in the U.S. and cannot depart and reenter to make changes to E-3 authorization. FSIS will prepare an E-3 petition that must be submitted to USCIS well before the changes become effective.

Submit this type of request to FSIS through the college/school HR specialist no later than 4 months prior to the E-3 start date, which is the anticipated effective date of the changes.

The links below explain the procedures to amend E-3 employment authorization by USCIS petition:

1. The department prepares an E-3 request.

2. FSIS processes the request and sends the completed petition to the unit’s HR specialist. Please note the following important information:

  • USCIS’s premium processing service is not available for E-3 petitions.
  • Changes to employment may take place once USCIS approves the petition.
  • When reporting a change to employment, at the same time, UH may request an extension of up to 2 years.
  • UH can submit a petition to USCIS up to 6 months prior to the petition start date.
  • Consult with FSIS if the employee is planning to travel abroad while an E-3 petition is pending.
  • The department should ask the E-3 beneficiary about any family members who may require an E-3D change of status or extension. If so, include the family’s documents in the E-3 request packet.

3. FSIS emails the E-3 petition filing fee amount and USCIS mailing address options to the HR specialist. The college/school/department (as appropriate) should request the filing fee check, indicating that the check be returned to the unit. The unit should then hand-deliver the check and one of the following types of mailing labels to FSIS as soon as possible:

  • Pre-paid FedEx mailing label;
  • Pre-paid USPS Priority Mail mailing label; or
  • 2 mail bar code labels for mailing by USPS Certified Mail (Manoa units only).

4. FSIS mails the petition with the filing fee to USCIS.

5. USCIS reviews the petition and renders a decision. If approved, USCIS will issue a Form I-797A or I-797B approval notice.

  • If I-797A: Employment can continue uninterrupted.
  • If I-797B: The worker must follow the E-3 entry procedures to “activate” the authorization.

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Travel abroad & reentry to the U.S.

If an E-3 employee is planning to travel abroad, UH departments should issue him/her an employment confirmation letter to facilitate reentry to the U.S. To return to the U.S., the worker must follow all E-3 entry procedures. If any E-3D dependents travel to other countries, they should follow the E-3D entry procedures.

If an employee or dependent is only planning to visit Canada or Mexico for less than 30 days, automatic visa revalidation. may be an option for reentry to the U.S.

Traveling abroad while an E-3 petition is pending with USCIS

The E-3 worker must be physically in the U.S. at the time a petition is filed. After filing, it is not advisable for E-3 employees to travel abroad while the petition is pending. If a worker knows they need to travel abroad around the time E-3 authorization will expire or be amended, the department should submit the extension/amendment request in the form of an E-3 entry request rather than an E-3 petition request.

If international travel plans arise at the last minute and the employee cannot avoid traveling while the petition is pending with USCIS, please note the following:

Petition type International travel
Change of E-3 employer If still employed by prior employer, may reenter using that employer’s LCA, offer letter and other documents. If prior employment has ended, may reenter with UH LCA, offer letter, and other documents to begin UH employment — see the E-3 entry process for more details.
Concurrent E-3 employment If petition is still pending on reentry date, may reenter with other employer’s LCA, offer letter, and other documents; upon petition approval, UH employment should be authorized automatically. If petition has been approved, must reenter with approval notices and/or LCAs, offer letters, and other documents for all employers, including UH — see the E-3 entry process for more details.
E-3 amendment If petition is still pending on reentry date, may reenter with prior unexpired UH approval notice and/or UH LCA, offer letter, and other documents. If petition has been approved, may reenter with amended approval notice and/or updated LCA, updated offer/support letter, and other documents to begin amended employment — see the E-3 entry process for more details.
E-3 change of status If petition is still pending on reentry date, change of status will be abandoned; if the worker reenters in prior immigration status, they must depart the U.S. and go through the E-3 entry process to begin E-3 employment. If petition has been approved, they must use petition approval and/or LCA, offer letter, and other documents to begin E-3 employment — see the E-3 entry process for more details.
E-3 extension If petition is still pending on reentry date, may reenter with prior unexpired UH approval notice and/or unexpired UH LCA, offer letter, and other documents. If documents have expired or if the petition has been approved, may reenter with extension approval notice (if received) and/or extension LCA, updated offer/support letter, and other documents to continue employment — see the E-3 entry process for more details.

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Reporting new home addresses to USCIS

E-3 employees and their E-3D dependents are required to report all changes of residential address to USCIS within 10 days of moving. The easiest way to report any changes is through USCIS’s online change of address form. If an individual has an application pending at a USCIS Service Center, they should also contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center (toll-free number: 1-800-375-5283) to report the change.

Please also email the new address to Isis so we can update our records.

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Dual intent

E-3 classification does not explicitly provide for dual intent. That is, when an individual applies for an E-3 visa, they will need to demonstrate intent to leave the U.S. at the end of E-3 status. That being said, the filing of an immigrant petition or permanent labor certification application on the person’s behalf should not be the sole reason for a denial of an E-3 visa or entry to the U.S.

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