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But what about for people who don't require a visa to enter the US but can visit on the Visa Waiver Program? Are such people allowed to job hunt in America?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Yes.

From the US Embassy in Australia's website:

Question:

Can I travel to the United States on the Visa Waiver Program to find a job or attend interviews and then apply for the E-3 visa once I return to Australia?

Answer:

Yes, you can travel on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) if you meet the requirements (please see our page on the Visa Waiver Program). If you do not meet the VWP requirements, you may be eligible to travel on the B-1/B-2 Combined Visa for Business or Pleasure.

You must leave the United States before applying for your E-3 visa.

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Just to be clear, this isn't for me so hopefully it's the same for citizens of all countries under the VWP and not just Australians. –  hippietrail Sep 19 '13 at 1:16
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@hippietrail indeed, and the embassy site says just "VWP" - not Australians in particular. I just chose their site as it's in the country I'm in. –  Mark Mayo Sep 19 '13 at 1:17
    
Mark see if you think the other two questions should be separate for separate types of visas? They're marked as dupes for now but the accepted answer (mine) is strongly disputed. –  hippietrail Sep 19 '13 at 1:19
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