E-3 is a visa category reserved for Australian nationals seeking to enter the US to preform services for an employer in a specialty occupation (similar to the H-1B visa category). The petitioning U.S. employer is required to file a Labor Condition Application with the U.S. Department of Labor and, upon certification, the applicant may apply for his or her E-3 visa at a US Consulate in Australia along with a support letter from the employer.
The advantage of this visa category is that employer does not need to file a petition with the USCIS as the foreign national can simply apply for the E-3 visa at a Consulate abroad. Another benefit is that E-3 spouses, also in E-3 status, can work in the U.S. pursuant to an approved Employment Authorization Document (EAD) issued by the USCIS. E-3 visa holders are admitted into the U.S. in increments of two years and there is no prescribed maximum amount of times the E-3 status can be extended. However, it is important to note that the dual intent doctrine does not apply to holders in this visa category.