Where to Get an E-3 Visa Appointment
The first question asked by any Australian with their signature barely dry on their job offer is “Where in the World do I get an E3 visa appointment?”
When COVID shut down U.S. Consulates in early 2020, it was a struggle for Australians to get an E3 visa appointment. Subsequently, when a U.S. Consulate opened up, a surge of appointment applications flooded in. Suddenly the wait for a visa at the newly opened Consulate would be up to six months!
It was a bit like your GPS telling you how to avoid an accident up ahead on the highway by taking a service road. Unfortunately, everyone with a GPS gets the same message and the service road is suddenly congested!
More U.S. Consulates Approving E3 Visas
Fortunately, over this past year, we have seen U.S. Consulates reopening. Therefore, more E3 visa appointment times have become available. In August of 2022, 583 E3 visas were approved which was the highest number since mid-2019.
The Australian Community has access to the latest consular data that shows where in the world E3 visas are being processed and gives you an understanding of which U.S. Consulate to look to for booking your next E3 visa appointment.
Knowing where E3 visas are being processed broadens your choices of where to go for your appointment.
August 2023 E3 Visa Consular Approvals.
|Rio De Janeiro||11||2||1|
As you scroll through the August 2023 data, there are some standouts:
- Sydney has consistently been the leading U.S. Consulate for processing E3s since it reopened. However August saw Melbourne pip Sydney with 137 E3, 121 E3D, and 80 E3R visas approved vs Sydney’s 125 E3, 111 E3D, and 50 E3R visas.
- London was third with 43 E3, 33 E3D, and 59 E3R visas.
- Perth continues to consistently process visas with 13 E3, 16 E3D, and 3 E3R visas.
- Rio was a standout with 11 E3, 2 E3D and 1 E3D visas.
- Pre-Pandemic Darling, Bridgetown, processed 26 E3, 17 E3D, and 9 E3R visas.
- Frankfurt processed 5 E3 and 1 E3D visas.
- Paris processed only 3 E3 and 3 E3R visas.
- Other Consulates that have fallen in popularity include Mexico City, Frankfurt, Singapore, and Dubai. This is in part due to short wait times in Bridgetown.
In all, 430 new E3 visas were approved in August. This is up from 368 in July, and 120 down from August of 2022.
E3 Visa Appointment Wait Times at a Glance
A quick check of visa appointment wait times (at the time of publication) at popular U.S. Consulates.
- Sydney: 25 Days
- Melbourne: 15 Days (which may explain why Melbourne is #1)
- London: 15 days
- Perth: 57 Days
- Bridgetown: 2 Days
- Singapore: 8 Days
- Rio De Janeiro: 2 Days
- Athens: 15 Days
- Mexico City: 15 Days
As they say in Financial Service, “past performance is not indicative of future returns”. For a full list of current U.S. Consulate visa appointment wait times visit the Visa Appointment Wait Times (US Dept of State) website.
It appears that U.S. Consulates are now able to process the demand for new E-3 visa applications in much shorter periods of time. We are seeing the “real” number of monthly visa applications monthly, and not a trend to the low or high due to appointment restrictions or backlogs being processed.
How many E3 visas will be approved in 2023?
So far, 2,909 E3 visas have been approved at US Consulates in 2023. The current trend line indicates a monthly average of around 400 new E3 visa approvals. Therefore, notwithstanding I-129 E3 approvals, we expect less than 5,000 E3 visas will be approved by December 31, 23.
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