EB-3 Visa

EB-3 | Third Preference Employment-Based Immigration

Third Preference Employment-Based Immigration

The EB-3 work visa program is reserved for aliens who qualify as “occupational professionals,” “skilled workers,” or “immigrant investors.” To obtain an EB-3 visa , applicants must have a sponsor willing to file a petition on their behalf. The sponsor can be an employer, authorized representative agent, or United States citizen with immediate family relationship. The employer must file a job application (Form I-140) on her behalf and obtain approval from the US Department of Labor.

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Who Can Apply For The EB-3 Visa?

The EB3 Visa is a United States immigration visa issued to skilled foreign workers or professionals with academic degrees. It can also be applied for by unskilled workers who have a valid job offer from an employer and who meet specific education and/or work experience requirements for the position. In general, the education and/or work experience requirements are lower for the EB-3 visa than for other work immigration visas.
Your US employer must process the petition and labor certification. So you will apply for an EW-3 visa at the US embassy in your home country.

EB-3 Visa Eligibility

You may be eligible for this immigrant visa preference category if you are a skilled worker, professional, or other worker.


To be eligible for an EB-3 work visa , you must qualify as a skilled or professional worker.

 

a. Skilled Workers – People whose work requires a minimum of 2 years of training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature. The skilled worker must meet the education, training or experience requirements of the job opportunity. Relevant post-secondary education can be considered as training.

 

b. Professional – A worker with a baccalaureate degree or equivalent education diploma and at least four years of progressive professional experience in the field. “Professionals” are people whose work requires at least a US bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent degree and are members of the professions.


c. Other Workers – If you are a non-skilled worker , a valid job offer and job sponsor are required to submit an application for appropriate labor certification to the Labor Department’s Certification Office. In addition, you must demonstrate the ability to perform non-skilled work (requiring less than two years of training or experience).

 

The “other workers” subcategory is for people who perform unskilled labor that requires less than 2 years of training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature.

To qualify for any of these positions, you must ensure that you are applying for a job that requires skills that are not available among workers in the United States.

EB-3 visa

How to apply for the EB-3 Visa?

To apply for the EB-3 visa, applicants must meet the requirements requested by the United States government.

  • Obtain labor certification by submitting the ETA (Form 9089) to the DOL.
  • Statement by the US employer that they tried to hire an employee in the US and failed. Also, that for this he will pay the prevailing wage.
  • Obtain from the employer a statement of non-discrimination regarding rights and wages, compared to your American peers.
  • Must be a skilled worker or professional with academic degrees
  • Have an employer who is willing to sponsor the applicant for the job
  • Have a valid job offer from the employer
  • Meet the specific education and/or work experience requirements for the position offered 

The rates may vary depending on the requirements and documentation presented. This information corresponds to September 2022.

Once the application is submitted, immigration officials will assess whether the candidate meets the requirements of the program. If the application is approved, the candidate will receive a work permit valid for three years. This permit can be renewed indefinitely as long as the candidate continues to meet the requirements to obtain the visa.


As part of the application process, your employer must demonstrate that it is capable of providing you with ongoing pay beginning on your visa priority date. Your employer may look to an annual report, federal income tax return, or audited financial statement to demonstrate its continued ability to pay your wages.

 

Once you apply for the EB-3 visa , your employer will receive a notification of receipt of the documentation. In the event that the applicant is applied for the visa, a notification of biometric services and a date for an interview will be sent. Finally, you will be presented with a notice with the final decision from the Department of Labor (DOL)

Documentation required for EB-3 Visa

a. To apply for an EB-3 visa , the applicant must file an employer petition ( Form I-140 ) with USCIS . Third preference applications generally must be accompanied by an approved individual labor certification issued by the Department of Labor (DOL).

b. In general, third preference petitions require an approved individual labor certification, provided by the Department of Labor on Form ETA-9089 . In some cases, the petition may be submitted to USCIS for consideration without the certified ETA-9089.

c. If the petition is approved, the applicant can file an application for permanent residence ( Form I-485 ) whether in the United States or abroad and eventually obtain US citizenship.

d. If your Form I-140 is approved, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible to apply for admission to the United States in category E34 (spouse of a “skilled worker” or “professional”), EW4 (spouse of “other type of worker”), E35 (son of “skilled worker” or a “professional”) or EW5 (son of “other type of worker”).

In addition, once these requirements are met, the employer must:

  • Pay the filing fee.
  • Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation.
visa eb3

The EB-3 visa gives access to a variety of opportunities in the United States. You can work and study in the country, in addition to having access to medical services and social securit

EB-3 Visa Extension

To extend the EB-3 visa, Form I-907 must be filed with the Department of Labor . This is the application
form for the extension or change of status of an EB-3 skilled worker or professional visa. The person filing
Form I-907 may be the foreign worker, employer, or authorized representative. If filed through the
authorized representative, the representative will be required to have a valid power of attorney issued
by the applicant.

The purpose of Form I-907 is to allow qualified or professional EB-3 visa petitioners to extend or change their status while they are being adjudicated with an immigrant visa, if they have not yet received their immigrant visa. If you are awarded an immigrant visa in the EB-3 category , but have not yet received such a visa, you may file Form I-907 to request a change of status to permanent residence status.


If you file Form I-907 to request a change of status and you are awarded an immigrant visa in the EB- category, you will not need to file a new Form I-485 to apply for permanent residence. However, if you file Form I-907 to request an extension of your status, and you are awarded an immigrant visa in the EB3 category, you will need to file a new Form I-485 to apply for permanent residence.

Differences between EB-3 Visa and EB-2 Vis

The EB-3 immigration visa is an option for those who qualify as occupational professionals, skilled
workers, or immigrants without specific category .

The EB-2 visa , on the other hand, is available to those who are considered ” foreign professionals with exceptional ability ” or those with “domestic immigration visas in areas of economic interest .” In general, the EB-3 visa has fewer educational and experience requirements than the EB-2 visa . However, due to the high demand for EB-2 visas, the requirements for the EB-3 visa have increased in recent years.

EB-3 visa recipients must also demonstrate that they will be paid a salary equal to the median wage paid
for the position in the geographic area where the job will be performed. This is known as the “anticipated salary”. Instead, EB-2 visa recipients must demonstrate that they will be paid a salary equal to the median wage paid for the position in the geographic area where the job will be performed, or an “acceptable minimum wage,” which is slightly higher.

visa

US Department of Labor – Labor Certification

Third preference petitions generally must be accompanied by an approved individual labor certification from the Department of Labor on form ETA-9089. In some cases, the petition may be submitted to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with an uncertified ETA-9089 to be considered as
Schedule A, Group I. For more information on Schedule A, Group I, please read our policy in Volume 6, Part E, Chapter 7, of the USCIS Policy Manual.

For more information, see the Department of Labor page: Foreign Labor Certification.

An EB3 visa comes with certain benefits, including

  • You can legally work in the United States
  • You can travel freely in the United States
  • The EB3 can be renewed indefinitely in two-year increments
  • Your immediate family (spouse and/or unmarried children under the age of 21) may also qualify for an EB3 visa.
  • While in the United States, your children can go to school and your spouse can apply for an EAD, an employment authorization document, which gives them permission to legally work in the United States

FAQ

(Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I use premium processing for my EB-3 Visa?

Yes. Most, if not all, EB-3 cases allow you to speed up I-140 processing time by using an optional service known as premium processing. By completing Form I-907 and paying the $1,440 fee, you can reduce your petition time to just 15 calendar days.

However, just because your petition is approved in 15 days does not mean that you can get your green card at that time. You will still have to wait for your priority date to become current. Talk to your immigration attorney to find out if premium processing is appropriate for your situation.

What are the pros and cons of an EB-3 Visa?

Green cards differ from temporary work visas in that, with a few exceptions, they all offer the same benefits. Each green card provides the holder with lawful permanent residence, which means he can live and work in the US with almost no restrictions (except for federal jobs that require security clearance). Except for EB-5 and marriage-based green cards, each green card is valid for ten years, after which the holder will need to renew their green card. Renewal does not require the cardholder to requalify, just that they pay the renewal fee and show that they have not committed any crimes or been outside the US for an extended period.

The only real differences between the green cards are the grades and the final action dates. The EB-3 often has the longest waiting period among employment-based green cards, so qualifying for an EB-2 or EB-1 will generally allow you to get your green card more quickly, especially if it is in a densely populated country. like China or India.

In terms of requirements, the EB-3 enjoys the lowest scores. You only need to have one non-seasonal job to qualify under the “other workers” category, so most workers may be eligible.

However, the EB-3 requires a PERM Labor Certification to file the I-140. PERM requires her employer to post her work in various places and go through a recruiting process to make sure she is not taking the job of a skilled US worker. This is a large part of the process that is vulnerable to obstacles like PERM audits and supervised contracting.

The EB-1 does not require applicants to obtain a PERM and the EB-2 allows you to avoid the PERM requirement if you obtain a national interest waiver. The EB-3, on the other hand, does not provide an opportunity to bypass this step.

What is the difference between an EB-3 visa and an EB-3 green card?

Confusing the terms visa and green card is a common occurrence as many people think they are different things. A green card is a visa.

A US visa is an immigration vehicle that allows foreigners to spend time in the United States. There are two main types of visas: nonimmigrant visas and immigrant visas. Nonimmigrant visas are temporary and holders often return to their home countries at the end of the visa validation period. These include examples such as the H-1B, L-1, O-1, and E-2 visas.

In contrast, an immigrant visa is permanent. Holders are granted lawful permanent residence in the US, allowing them to live and work with almost no restrictions for an indefinite period. Immigrant visas are commonly known as green cards because permanent resident cards are greenish in color.

So the EB-3 visa and the EB-3 green card are the same things since green cards are a type of visa.

Can I get an EB-3 with a master's degree?

If you can. It would qualify under the bachelor’s qualification for the EB-3. However, having an advanced degree (master’s or higher) is one of the qualifications for an EB-2, so you may consider applying for one or both.

Can I get an EB-3 without any degree?

Yes. Three types of people qualify for the EB-3.

Those who have at least a bachelor’s degree

Those who have at least 2 years of experience in their jobs.

Those who have less than 2 years of experience (but have non-seasonal jobs)

If you fall into either of the last two categories, you can get an EB-3 without a degree.

Can I get an EB-3 without any experience?

Possibly. If you refer to the previous question, you will see that the third category is for those with less than 2 years of experience. However, this puts you in a slightly different area with different dates on the visa bulletin, so keep that in mind. You may also find it more difficult to get your I-140 approved with little or no experience than if you have at least some experience.

How can I check my EB-3 priority date?

Once the application is submitted, immigration officials will assess whether the candidate meets the requirements of the program. If the application is approved, the candidate will receive a work permit valid for three years. This permit can be renewed indefinitely as long as the candidate continues to meet the requirements to obtain the visa.

As part of the application process, your employer must demonstrate that it is capable of providing you with ongoing pay beginning on your visa priority date. Your employer may look to an annual report, federal income tax return, or audited financial statement to demonstrate its continued ability to pay your wages.

Once you apply for the EB-3 visa, your employer will receive a notification of the receipt of the documentation. If the applicant is applied for the visa, a notification of biometric services and a date for an interview will be sent. Finally, you will be presented with a notice of the final decision from the Department of Labor (DOL).

Your priority date is specific to you and does not change. You can see your priority date on the USCIS receipt notice, your I-797. To check the final action dates in your category, you can visit the latest visa bulletin and compare it to your priority date.

How long does the EB-3 take?

There are several steps for the EB-3 that can take different amounts of time. The first is the PERM Labor Certification. As we have mentioned, the PERM requires a hiring process that takes a minimum of 60 days. It can take an average of six to nine months for the Department of Labor to subsequently process the form. Also, if your employer is audited or subject to supervised hiring, it could add another nine months to a year and a half to the process.

After that, your employer will file the I-140 with USCIS, which takes an average of six months to process, depending on how busy the service center is. This step can be expedited to just 15 calendar days with premium processing.

Then you will have to wait until your priority date is current. This has a huge influence on the total processing time, since the priority dates for some countries are already current, while others can take many years.

After that, you will need to go through consular processing or adjustment of status. Adjusting your status requires filing Form I-485, which takes about six months to process and is not eligible for premium processing. Consular processing can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on how busy the US Embassy or Consulate is in your home country.

In general, the shortest wait time could be about a year, while the longest wait time could be more than a decade. It all depends on your unique situation.

How can I go from an EB-3 Visa to citizenship?

One of the main reasons people work toward an EB-3 is to take the final step toward full U.S. citizenship. Citizens enjoy several benefits that green card holders do not, such as immunity from deportation, better preferences for sponsoring family members for green cards, and access to federal jobs that require security clearance.

The path from an EB-3 to citizenship is the same for every green card. Foreigners become citizens through a process called naturalization. You will first need to make sure you meet the following requirements:

  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • You meet one of these three criteria:
  • You have been an EB-3 holder for at least 5 years.
  • She/He has been married to a US citizen for a minimum of 3 years.
  • She/He is currently serving in the United States Army
  • She/He will then need to file an N-400 Citizenship Application Form with USCIS. You will also need to include a copy of your EB-3 green card, passport-size photos, and the N-400 processing fee of $725. However, each case is different, so be sure to discuss with your immigration attorney what documentation and fees are required to move from EB-3 to citizenship status.

You’ll also need to show that you have good moral character (a metric that covers everything from committing crimes to marital fidelity); that you know how to read and write basic English; who understand the basic principles of the US Constitution, history, and government; and that you have been in the US continuously for the required length of time (ie, 5 years or 3 years).

Is there an EB-3 Visa adjustment of status interview?

Possibly. Many people who file an I-485 to adjust their status to any green card can be interviewed. The EB-3 is no exception. However, if you are prepared and your case is legitimate, you have nothing to fear from this interview. The assessing officer will ask you questions about your I-485 and I-140 to make sure you are the person you say you are (questions like your employer, address, date of birth, etc.).

If your information has changed in a way that makes you ineligible (such as committing a crime or losing your sponsoring employer), then your application may be denied. However, do not let this lead you to lie to the officer. You can always reapply, but being caught attempting to immigrate fraudulently could result in a long-term or even permanent bar from re-entry to the US

Are there travel restrictions for the EB-3 visa?

No, the Department of State does not place any restrictions on the number of times you can travel in and out of the US.

Do I have access to US healthcare with an EB-3 visa?

Yes, you will have access to medical care in the United States as an EB3 visa holder, however, the costs of receiving medical treatment in the United States are one of the highest in the world.

Treating a broken leg or broken arm will cost you $2,500, while staying in a US hospital can cost more than $10,000, on average. You should choose an immigrant health insurance plan that best suits your needs, is also generally affordable, and meets your needs.

In summary

The EB-3 visa is a great option for those seeking to immigrate to the United States, as the education and/or work experience requirements are lower than for other work immigration visas. If you meet the requirements for the EB-3 visa , contact an immigration attorney to help you file your application with USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services)