Obtaining an Australian E3 Visa

Just a quick post outlining the interesting parts of obtaining an E3 visa for an Australian citizen in Sydney.

  • I recommend reading Geoff’s post first
  • Leave yourself some time to find 1) the MCL building and 2) the level 10 elevator
  • This building is octagonal shaped and has just about as many entrances and elevators most of which went to level 8, not 10. I asked for help getting around.
  • I booked an appointment for Monday @ 10:30am and the queue was snaking out the door when I arrived
  • When I finally got to the security guy with the appointments clipboard he wasn’t bothered that the time was now 10:45am. You can’t line up any more than 15 minutes early so there had to be some understanding here.
  • Essentially, he was marking people’s names off the list.
  • The security guards were very friendly
  • Airport like scanning procedure at this point, make sure your passport is out, make sure you have your documents out, take any metal off (belt/shoes)
  • I had a backpack, phone and car keys. All of which went into a tub and through the scanner.
  • Make sure any electronics/wires are taken out of your bag before it goes through the scanner.
  • De-metaled I then went through the full body scanner. Again, expect usual airport scanning procedures here.
  • Next, I was given a number card so that I could later return and collect my things from the corresponding locker number
  • Next, I was asked for my DS-160 confirmation page, appointment confirmation page and passport
  • They then asked for my LCA and took a few pages from it.
  • They asked how recent my photo was on the DS-160. There was a guy before me who’s photo was too old (taken greater than 6 months ago). He was told that there is a pharmacy on the ground floor that can take passport photos and to return with an updated photo.
  • Satisfied, she grouped everything required and rubber banded the lot.
  • I took a seat and waited with a few other people for the elevator to take us to level 59. Security guards then called us forward and sent us up.
  • A lady at a window then took the bundle and checked a few more things before electronically unlocking a very heavy metal door for me.
  • Joining another queue, I was eventually called forward to a window and had my left and right hand finger prints taken. This seemed quite difficult for a lot of people to understand the instructions. Not everyone is Australian and speaks english well here 🙂
  • I then got a blue ticket and joined the E3 visa interview queue.
  • I guess this would be your opportunity to read your book if you bothered to bring one.
  • Finally the interview. I was called forward and asked a few questions about the startup and what it did. Nothing formal, you just stand there like your at the bank teller window.
  • He asked for my documents bundle and passport.
  • After about 5 minutes, he told me that my visa was approved and that it would be sent via Toll courier arriving within 7 days.
  • You leave your passport there and exit the same way you entered.
  • Walk yourself back to the elevator and down to level 10, no one to push the button for you this time 🙂
  • Present your number card and collect your stuff.
  • Exit stage left.

Overall, expect airport like procedures, be organised and smile.

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