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What is the EB3 Visa?

The EB3 visa is a third preference, employment based immigration category. Workers in this category may include skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers. Eligibility standards for the EB3 visa are set lower than the EB1 and EB2 categories, however there is usually a wait list resulting in longer processing times. Like the EB2 visa, a job offer and PERM labor certification are required.

EB3 Priority Date

When the demand for a specific visa category is higher than the number of visas issued each year, this causes a backlog. USCIS deals with this by only allowing change of status applications to be filed once your priority date becomes current. Your EB3 priority date will be the date that USCIS receives your I-140 petition, and you can check your status based on country of origin by checking the Department of Labor’s monthly visa bulletin.

The EB3 is a provision for three sub-categories of workers seeking permanent residence in the US, 1) Skilled Workers, 2) Professionals, and 3) Unskilled Workers. EB3 visa requirements for  all three sub-categories include the offer of a full-time job along with PERM labor certification, with the exception of certain occupation listed under Schedule A for which the Department of Labor has determined that there are insufficient numbers of US workers available. PERM labor certification is a 6-10 month long process undertaken by the sponsoring employer to demonstrate that no qualified workers were available in the US to fill the position. In the case of the third sub-category, the job being offered must also be a permanent position where temporary or seasonal jobs are excluded.

Schedule A: There are two specific occupations currently listed under Schedule A, 1) professional nurses and 2) physical therapists. Applicants who fulfill the requirements under Schedule A may bypass the labor certification approval, which often results in a much faster processing time.

What are the differences...

EB3 Visa Skilled Worker

According to USCIS, a skilled worker under the EB3 visa is defined as someone who possesses, at a minimum, 2 years of relevant job experience, education, or training that satisfy the job requirements as specified on the labor certification.

EB3 Visa Professional

EB3 professionals must possess a US baccalaureate or foreign equivalent degree in order to apply for this sub-category. The position being offered must be one that normally requires the applicant’s degree in order to qualify for the job.

The position being offered under the EB3 visa unskilled worker sub-category must be a permanent position that is not temporary or seasonal in nature. The applicant must demonstrate their ability to perform the job being offered, but no specific limits are set on the type of jobs that qualify.

Other Requirements for 3rd Preference Employment Based Immigration

Other requirements to be considered for the EB3 green card process are addressed below:

There are several documents that will need to be prepared aside from the petition, labor certification, and their supporting documents. Applicants of the EB3 employment based green card are required to lodge the DS-261 online visa application, as well as present various identity and civil documents such as a valid passport, birth and marriage certificates, and court and criminal records.  Additional passport photos as well as completed medical examination forms will also be required, and any foreign language documents may need to be translated with certified copies.

The applicant as well as any dependents who are applying for admission to the US under E34, EW4, E35, or EW5 categories are required to undertake medical examinations and receive certain mandatory vaccinations. All exams and vaccinations must be received prior to attending the visa interview, though some vaccine exemptions can be made for some elderly individuals and those with certain medical history or conditions. Final decisions for such exemptions will be determined by an authorized panel physician.

There are several different fees associated with the EB3 green card application process, some of which are paid by the employer, and some by the beneficiary. The labor certification and I-140 petitions will be filed and paid for by the sponsoring employer. The beneficiary or applicant is responsible for the DS-261 processing fee, any medical examination and vaccination fees, biometrics fee, as well as any costs associated with obtaining supporting documents, travel expenses for out-of-town interviews, and any professional consultant fees such as an immigration attorney.

A list of up-to-date filing fees can be found on the USCIS website.

How we can help...

As a boutique law firm with high levels of expertise in the fields of business, professional, and investment immigration, we at Immigration General Counsel are highly equipped to guide you in your employment based green card process. Whether you are looking to adjust your status from a temporary visa or applying from abroad, or if you aren’t sure what type of visa is best for you, we can provide quality counsel for your smooth transition and even help you to find the best employment visa solution for your situation.

We are highly experienced and skilled in the full range of temporary and permanent employment visa categories including L1, H1B, J1 Waiver, EB1, EB2 (including NIW), EB3 (including Schedule A), and EB5, just to name a few. We also have a subspecialty in complex and unusual cases with numerous approvals under our belt for USCIS RFE and NOID cases.  You can count on Immigration General Counsel to have your back and help simplify your US immigration process!

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