For a number of years we have been publishing data on how many Australians are living in New York and the broader U.S.. This report highlights data from the Departments of Homeland Security and State.
Given the past growth in the number of Australians living in New York and other large cities, a persistent question this article attempts to answer: How many Aussies are living in New York and the broader US, and how many are just visiting?
Australians entering the United States
The most recent I-94 data (2018) shows an overall drop in Australian entries into the U.S. on Non-Immigrant visas. The number of Australian entries into the U.S. on three month Visa Waivers dropped by 26, 151, or just over 2.0%. However Business Visa Waiver entries were up 5% in 2018 to 162,416 from 154,606.
What is important to note is that in 2018, there were 1,249,818 Australian entries into the U.S. on the three month tourist visa waiver, which is still a remarkable number given the fall in the $AU.
Non-Immigrant Visas issued to Australians
In 2019, the total of all Non-Immigrant visas issued to Australians further declined by 2.4%.
O visas were down from 1,235 in 2018 to 1,142 in 2019. L visas were up from 2,642 in 2018 to 2,723 . H visas were again up from 733 in 2018 to 847. J visas were up slightly from 5,099 to 5,175 in 2019.
At face value, E-3 visas were up 7.7% from 5,394 in 2018 to 5,797 in 2019.
However, the 7.7% increase was driven by a 75% decrease in E-3 Denials! Yes, we did cross reference the numbers and they are correct!
Contrary to the increase in new E-3 approvals, the number of E-3 applications actually dropped by 84; from 6,058 in 2018 to 5,974 in 2019.
Similarly, E-3R Denials were down 85% driving an increase of nearly 8% when there were only 13 new E-3R applications in 2019!
Considering the average annual denials for E-3 sits at c.11% and E-3R at c.7% this data is quite remarkable in a climate where you would expect visa denials to increase!
Bad News for Aussie Job Seekers on the Horizon
Congress is still considering changes to the E-3 visa to give unused visas to Ireland. If the legislation passes, we could see thousands of new job seekers entering the New York market, further creating headwinds for the Australian job seeker.
Had H.R. 7164 not failed by only one vote in the Senate, this year there would be 4,693 E-3 visas available to citizens of Ireland in 2020. This would equate to an estimated 15,000 new job seekers competing against Australians, eligible for an E-3 visa.
The Australian Community’s Job Fair v3.0 has seen an upgrade in 2020 to increase the number of Australians successfully find work and apply for an E-3 visa. You can read more and apply via the link.
Other Nations on the E-3D Visa.
Another remarkable chart is spouses and children on an E-3D, who are not Australian citizens.
In 2019 there were 839 citizens of other Nations who successfully applied for an E-3D visa. This was up 8% from 779 in 2018. The largest growth regions were Asia and Europe.
The Importance of the I-94
Any Australian who has entered the US is familiar with the I-94 card. It is the final say on how long you have until you must exit the US.
If you are on an E-3 and you reenter the US, the I-94 must be dated past your visa renewal date. Mistakes often happen so always check the date in case a mistake is made.
The video below with Immigration attorney Zjantelle Cammisa Markel explains more about the importance of checking the I-94 date every time you re-enter the United States.
After an initial 53% jump in 2016 to 12,872, and a further increase to 13,320 in 2017, 2018 saw a drop in B-1.2 visas by 16% to 11,116. 2019 also saw a further drop in Australians entering the U.S. on a B-1,2 visa, down 17.3% from 11,116 in 2018 to 9,188.
Note: In 2017, 2018 and 2019, the percentage of B-1,2 visa application denials were 17%, 18% and 19% respectively. Therefore the drop in Australians entering the U.S. on B-1,2 visas was not due to an increase in denials, but rather, fewer Australians applying for the visa.
How Many Australians are Living in New York? – 2019 Data Pending.
In 2018 New York continued to lead California as the preferred destination for Australians working on the E-3 visa. Cali led Washington State, then Texas, Illinois and Florida.
The 2018 DHS data also shows that 15,809 Australians (and their Dependents) on E-3 visas were living in New York State.
The number of Australians in New York State on E-3 visas in 2018 was up 7.8% over 2017. 2019 Data is still pending.
in 2017 we began a deep dive on how Australians are obtaining Green Cards. What may surprise many, is that in 2018 only 433 Australians arrived in the U.S. after winning a Green Card in the Diversity lottery.
The vast majority obtaining their Green Card from marriage and immediate family members (1,238), Employers (934), with “Other” representing 88 Green Cards.
The Black Swan
The data for this article comes from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State. Unfortunately, some of the data is not available for more than twelve to 15 months.
One source of data which is published monthly, and lags only 60 days, are the E-3, E-3D and E-3R approvals. Fortunately, this data (below) is also highly relevant to many Australians.
In March 2020, new E-3 approvals dropped to their lowest level in years. As new data is released this number is expected to further decline as U.S. Consulates and Embassies closed due to COVID-19.
We will continue to update these numbers as new data is released.
To say that COVID-19 was the “Black Swan” that no-one predicted is an understatement. Its sharp impact has recently been felt on those seeking both Immigrant and Non-Immigrant visas.
The Australian Community has published information specific to E-3 visas and you can click here to read more as well as watch videos discussing the impact of COVID-19 on E-3 visas holders.
Many Australians are stranded outside of the U.S., waiting for a visa appointment. Others have traveled back to Australia in the hope of filing a mail-in visa. Before making a decision that could have a long term impact on your ability to re-enter the United States, always seek professional advice, as the situation is evolving on a daily basis.
Feel free to contact The Australian Community if you have any questions, and we can refer you to a professional who can assist with your needs: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Australian Community
The Australian Community is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity and its Mission is to connect Australian living in the United States through social. professional and charitable initiatives.
All contributions are fully tax deductible under Section 170 of the IRS Code. The Australian Community is also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the Code.