Eligible family members do not need to be Australian citizens to qualify for E-3 dependent status. Unmarried children under 21 years of age and spouses of E-3 employees are eligible for E-3 status. A child can no longer stay in the U.S. as an E-3 dependent after turning 21. In order to remain in the U.S., the child must change to a different nonimmigrant visa status (e.g. F-1 student, B-2 visitor).
Dependents outside the U.S.:
All dependents who plan to enter the US in E-3 status must apply for an E-3 visa stamp at a US Consulate outside the US. Please visit the Consulate’s website for items needed to apply for the E-3 visa. Do not complete a Form I-539 for Dependents who are not currently holding a nonimmigrant status (e.g. H-4, J-2, F-2) in the U.S.
Dependents holding a valid Nonimmigrant status in the U.S. who wish to change or extend status:
- Check for $370 made payable to US Department of Homeland Security
- Form I-539 completed and signed by E-3 Dependent, not Principal E-3
- Form I-539A: Every co-applicant included on the primary applicant’s Form I-539 must submit and sign a separate Form I-539A. Parents or guardians may sign on behalf of children under 14 or any co-applicant who is not mentally competent to sign.
- Copy of Marriage Certificate
- Copy of Birth Certificates for Children
- Copies of dependents’ immigration documents (Valid Passport photo page, US entry stamps, visa stamps, renewal pages only, Forms I-20 / DS-2019, etc)
All dependents of the applicant who are already in the US and need to extend E-3 status or change status to E-3 must complete and sign a Form I-539.The application fee for the I-539 is $370, regardless of the number of applicants.
Use the following guidelines when you prepare your checks or money orders for the Form I-539 filing fee:
- The checks or money orders must be drawn on a bank or other financial institution located in the United States and must be payable in U.S. currency
- Make the checks or money orders payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
NOTE: Spell out U.S. Department of Homeland Security; do not use the initials “USDHS” or “DHS.”
If more than one Dependent of the H-1B applicant is applying for E-3 status, the eldest dependent (usually the spouse) should complete and sign the application and the additional dependents should be listed on Supplement-1. If all Dependents applying for E-3 status are minors (under the age of 18 years), the oldest child should sign the I-539 in Part 5 if s/he is 14 years old or older. If the dependent filing the form is younger than 14 years old, the applicant should sign Part 5 AND Part 7, Signature of person preparing form, if other than above, indicating “Parent of Minor”.
Your spouse is entitled to apply for work authorization, but not your children. To apply for work authorization as a spouse of an E-3 nonimmigrant, your spouse must file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. USCIS processing can take an average of 90 days or longer. Dependent E-3 employment authorization is valid only if the Primary E-3 is maintaining status.
Your spouse may file this application online or submit a paper application to USCIS. The primary exchange visitor must have valid E-3 status, and spouse must hold valid E-3 Dependent status, as shown on I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. Your spouse may start working when they receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) but not before the date listed on the EAD card. If permission for employment is granted, an EAD is issued and is valid for any kind of full-time or part-time employment for the period of time stated on the EAD. There is no legal limit to the amount of money that your spouse may earn. Dependent E-3 employment authorization may not exceed the expiration date indicated on the
Your spouse should download Form I-765 and complete all required fields. Your dependent should check their information carefully and use their full legal name listed on their passport when completing the application, signing the Form I-765 in Black Ink. In Part 2, Q. 27, your spouse should write (A) (17) ( ) to indicate Dependent E-3 status.
Send the following items to USCIS:
- Copy of your passport, I-94 and E-3 visa stamp
- Copy of your spouse's passport, I-94 and E-3 visa stamp
- Copies of any USCIS I-797 Approval Notices (if applicable)
- Form I-765 plus application fee
- 2 EAD photos
Either File Online or Send the Complete Application To:
USCIS Dallas Lockbox
For U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
P.O. Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266
For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
Attn: NFB AOS
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067
Authorization To Work
E-3 Dependent Spouse may not begin employment until they receive approval from USCIS. Authorization to work is valid until the expiration date on the Employment Authorization Document. Your spouse may not work past this date.
To apply for an EAD extension, follow the same instructions as you did for your initial EAD. Your spouse should file Form I-765 for extension of employment authorization in a timely manner so that the extension application is approved before the expiration of the current EAD. If the current EAD expires, the E-3 Dependent must cease employment until receiving the new EAD. You will send in all the documents that you included in the initial EAD application plus a copy of your EAD. You will need to pay the I-765 fee again.