The American Dream – Seeking E3 Visa Employment

I’ve had few goals in life. College, graduation, lose weight, see the world; all typical goals you’d expect a regular 26 year old to want to achieve. For someone of my age, these goals were nothing out of the ordinary. But that was the problem, you see, they were just ordinary.

Too many people are scared to let their imaginations run wild and see where it can take them; too scared to dream the impossible dream because they fear failure and defeat. I’m not everyone else though.

I wasn’t going to settle for ordinary. I was looking for greatness.

I needed extraordinary.

Ever since my first visit to the USA back in 2006, I knew it is where I wanted to be. This is where my first ever *dream* sprout. Countless trips followed, eight in the last few years, to be precise, as well as a 14 month stint living and interning at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

I can’t really articulate the feeling I get when I’m in the US. It’s weird. At first I’m overcome with happiness, this is followed by an immense, secure feeling of belonging. I’ve never felt more myself than when I’m in America, particularly Florida. It has kind of grown to be my home away from home.

After my internship ended back in 2010 there was, not a single doubt in my mind, that Florida was where I belong. There was, however, one *little* problem standing in my way… The US Government makes it extremely difficult for foreigners to move to the USA to live and work for extended periods of time. Of course, I couldn’t have picked a more perfect time to put this dream into action; right in the middle of an employment slump – I sure know how to pick em!


To seek E3 visa employment in Orlando through E-3 visa sponsorship.

The E-3 visa classification applies only to nationals of Australia. The E-3 applicant must be going to the United States solely to work in a specialty occupation. The definition of a “speciality occupation” is one that requires a theoretical and practical application of a body of specialised knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. There are 10,500  E-3 visas available annually and the visa is valid for a period of two years but renewable indefinitely in two year increments.


At first I spent a couple of years frequenting US job sites like to see if anything piqued my interest. Many positions grabbed my attention but all clearly stipulated that the position in question required that the successful applicant have existing permission to legally work within the US. Before I could obtain an E-3 visa however, I needed a physical job offer so this was going to prove quite the task. I quickly came to realise I could not just simply apply for an available job opening like one normally would. Regardless though, over a 24 month period I applied for maybe 80-100 jobs, hopeful that perhaps one employer would see how keen I was and show enough compassion to organise an interview over Skype with me.

How wrong I was.


I needed a new, clear plan of attack.

I spent a few weeks researching digital marketing agencies, social media companies and online advertisers that were based in Orlando, Florida. Now, Orlando is no Dallas, Los Angeles or New York City when it comes to Fortune 500 companies and digital marketing agencies so there was only a handful of companies to choose from.

From the list that I had curated, there was really only one company that jumped out at me. They were everything I wanted from a workplace and more; the corporate culture was anything but corporate, they were fast-moving and free-spirited, there was no corporate hierarchy – you are encouraged to speak to the CEO as you would your best mate, they eat, sleep and breathe social media, team work and individual achievements are valued and rewarded, they engage in an annual team-building retreat and they offered a ton of other benefits that are of importance when living in the US like medical, dental and vision insurance etc.

I was sold. I now had the idea in my head and there was no turning back, after all, I don’t really believe in back-up plans. If you want something bad enough, you will make it happen. I remember telling myself ‘this will be my future workplace’.


Bright-eyed and excited to turn this dream into a reality, I found the CEO’s contact details on LinkedIn and shot him off an email introducing myself and expressing my interest in working at his company.

I never heard back from him.

I can only imagine that my one, single email was nothing but insignificance amongst the hundreds of important, work-related emails that populated his inbox. Totally understandable.

I gave it a couple of months before I emailed him again.

No response.

OK, so maybe they aren’t currently hiring. I’ll email him back again in a few months.

Again, no response. If anything, though, at least now he knows I’m persistent and determined, right?

This is proving to be tougher than I thought. I’m just another email in his inbox (or trash folder).

I need to think outside the box.


I remember checking out a slide presentation about the company and their employment beliefs under the careers section of their website a few months prior. I revisited this deck and while flipping through the slides, I had a wave of inspiration. They value creativity and innovation, heck, people go dressed in costumes to their job interviews just to stand out and show their quirky side!

My eyes lit up in excitement as I realised I’d discovered the perfect ‘think outside the box’ strategy I needed to grab the CEO’s attention – well, at least enough to draw him in and give me a minute of his time!

I went through each slide and noted all the similarities of how they operate and engage in their business in comparison to how I’ve taken on similar situations in my working environments not only in my current role, but also my interning role at Walt Disney World while living in Orlando. Each similarity I drew upon would show why and how I’d be a perfect fit for their company based upon my work and life experiences. I drew on the colour and design scheme of the career deck on their site and started to put together my own deck.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t just a crappy powerpoint presentation. This thing was photoshopped to look incredible – it was seriously some of my best photoshop and powerpoint work to date! All 13 slides were bright, eye-catching, quirky and perfectly incapsulated my personality while showcasing my professional strengths and capabilities. It took me countless weekends to put together. Even I was impressed with myself and my finished product!

On the last slide, to be perfectly transparent, I included some brief information in dot point form about the E-3 visa and included links back to the US Embassy site if he cared to read on any further.

It just so happens that I will be in Orlando for six weeks over the Christmas and New Year period to visit friends; this I hope will work in my favour. I begin to compose my fourth email to the CEO and, without trying to sound too crazy, after promising that my attachment wont give him a virus, I ask him to spare a minute of his time to check out my deck and that it would be great if we could arrange a time to meet while I’m in Orlando on vacation later that year. Crazy, I know, but worth a shot, right?!

It is October of 2011. Nine months and three failed emails to this guy and yet I refuse to give up. This time is different though. This time I feel excited and hopeful. It is late and I am in need of sleep so I hit send on email number four.


The next morning in an almost routinely manner, I roll over, reach for my iPhone and although dreary-eyed and still half asleep, proceed to check Facebook, Twitter and my email inbox.

Amongst the plethora of junk mail, something catches my eye. My finger quivers from nerves as I go to open it. Could it be?

Ok. You win 🙂

Let’s schedule in a time to meet.

OH EMM GEE! Nine months and four emails later, and finally, finally I have a response from the CEO himself, and a positive one at that! My heart is beating out of my chest in a raging fit of excitement. Without hesitation, I schedule in a time to meet with him for early December.

Two months of anxiousness follows.



Continue on to Part II – 20 Seconds of Courage