Skip to Content

Can an E-3 Dependent Get an Employment Authorization Document ("EAD")?


The answer is "yes." Indeed, pursuant to changes in immigration regulations made in November 2021, E-dependent spouses are employment authorized incident to their status, and therefore they are no longer required to request employment authorization by filing Form I-765. See here.

However, E-3 dependent spouses may continue to file Form I-765 if they choose, and under current processing delays, it may be a better practice. If you are unsure whether you need to file a Form I-765, call us here at Yekrangi & Associates. We are top-tier immigration attorneys, and we can evaluate what you need to do. Contact us at (949) 478-4963 to schedule a consultation. We are located in Irvine, California, but we serve immigration clients across the country.

Background on the E-3 Visa

As described here, the E-3 visa classification applies to nationals of Australia. In addition, the person obtaining the E-3 visa:

"... must be coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation. The specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States."

In general, an E-3 visa holder will need a U.S employer to sponsor their visa application. Spouses and minor children of an E-3 visa holder are permitted to accompany the primary E-3 visa holder. Dependents are issued E-3D visas.

Documents an Employer Will Need

Often, the question of whether a Form I-765 must be filed depends on the potential employer. Employers must see various documentation, verify employability and complete a Form I-9. If your employer knows about the updated regulations, it should be sufficient for an employer to provide the following documentation:

  • Spouse's and E-3 dependent's passports
  • Spouse's and E-3 dependent’s unexpired I-94 cards with E-3 visa stamps
  • Notice sent by the USCIS after about April 1, 2022, which is intended to serve as evidence of employment authorization -- see here
  • Labor Certificate issued on behalf of the employer for the main E-3 visa holder

Conditions for Automatic Employment Authorization

To be automatically eligible for employment authorization, the following conditions must be met:

  • The E-3 spouse has a valid E-3 status
  • The E-3 dependent spouse must hold a currently-valid E-3 dependent status as shown on your I-94 Arrival/Departure Record card
  • Work authorization is valid only as long as the E-3 spouse remains in status

Supporting Documents to Submit if Filing Form I-765

If you are completing a Form I-765, you will need to also submit copies of the following documentation:

  • Spouse's and E-3 dependent's passports
  • Spouse's and E-3 dependant's I-94 cards with E-3 visa stamps
  • Labor Certificate issued on behalf of the employer for the main E-3 visa holder
  • Two photos with a white background taken no earlier than 30 days before submission
  • Payment of fees

Contact Yekrangi & Associates Today

For more information, contact the Orange County Immigration Attorneys at Yekrangi & Associates today. You are not alone. Yekrangi & Associates works to meet a higher standard. Our first goal is your satisfaction. Contact us at (949) 478-4963 to schedule a consultation or complete our convenient “Get Your Consultation” form here. We are located in Irvine, California.

Share To:

Contact Us for Your Consultation

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy