Congress has established a yearly cap of 10,500 new E-3 visa workers.
For purposes of the cap, “new E-3 workers” are those who, coming from abroad, are admitted initially in E-3 classification or those who change their nonimmigrant status to E-3 classification or change employers while in E-3 status.
The annual cap of 10,500 has never been reached.
Although there is a Congress-imposed yearly cap of 10,500 E-3 visas, it does not apply when an employer is interested in extending a previously approved E-3 petition or when an employer wants the E-3 to be reissued due to a job change for an employee that already holds the E-3 status.
The cap also excludes E-3 visas issued to other immediate family members. However, contrary to the H-1b cap, when an E-3 employee changes employers the cap remains.
It should be noted, nevertheless, that since the E-3 visa category was established in 2005, the E-3 cap has not been reached.
It is one of the most compelling reasons why Australian professionals may find the E-3 visa an attractive option to the H-1b.