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Professional & Workers (EB-3)

by Hamid R. Kashani, Attorney at Law
Nov 07, 2018 (last modified Nov 30, 2018)

What is EB-3 immigrant visa category?

Employment-Based immigrant visas are divided into five (5) preference classes.  EB-3 is a visa covering the third preference, which provides for immigration of professionals holding a bacelor's degree and skilled and unskilled workers.

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Who qualifies to apply for EB-3 immigrant visa?

Three groups of aliens qualify for the third preference employment-based immigrant visa (EB-3). They are skilled workers, professionals with a bachelor's degree, and unskilled workers (other workers).

All three categories require the prospective employer to obtain a labor certificate before filing a petition with the USCIS to approve the prospective employee's classification.

There is a brief waiting period for EB-3 visa availability for citizens of most countries. You may check the visa availability of a particular visa category for your country of origin. See Priority Date & Visa Availability.

What are the criteria for EB-3 classification?

To qualify as a professional, you must hold a bachelor's degree or its equivalent and show that possessing such a degree is the normal requirement for the position for which you are going to be hired.  There is no waiver available for the bachelor's degree.

To qualify as a skilled worker, you must show at least two years of job experience or training.

To qualify as an unskilled worker, you may have less than two years of training or experience and the position for which you are being hired must be a permanent position.

In addition, your employer must apply for and obtain a labor certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), certifying that qualified U.S. workers are not available and willing to fill the position for which you are being hired.

How is a petition for EB-3 classification filed?

To apply for EB-3 classification, your employer must first apply for and secure a labor certificate from the United States Department Labor.  The process for obtaining labor certificate is rather complex and is described separately. See Labor Certification (PERM).

Skilled workers at work

Once your prospective employer obtains a labor certificate, the employer must file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (USCIS Form I-140) together with extensive, supporting evidence.

To see the current USCIS fee for this petition, see USCIS Fee Schedule.

To see how long the USCIS would take to adjudicate your petition, see USCIS Processing Times.

Premium processing is available for this kind of petition, meaning that you may be able to obtain a decision in 15 calendar days.

What happens after the EB-3 classification petition is approved?

If you are in the United States and qualify, you may apply for Adjustment of Status.  If you qualify to file for adjustment of status and a visa is immediately available to you, you should file an Application for Adjustment of Status together with the petition.

If you are outside of the United States or do not qualify to file for adjustment of status, you must go through Consular Processing, to actually receive an immigrant visa.

 

Traveling Outside of the United States during the Immigration Application Process

Working in the United States during the Immigration Application Process

Applying for Citizenship

 

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