When Immigration Matters

What is the EB-3 Visa? 

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Jul 12, 2017, 11:00:00 AM

Diverse group of workers standing against white background-245700-edited.jpegEB3 VisaThe EB3 visa is a preference category for individuals who are designated by USCIS as a Skilled Worker, Professional, or “Other Worker” (i.e. unskilled labor). Each of these sub-categories is outlined below.

EB3 Visa Eligibility Requirements for Skilled Workers 

Individuals who wish to apply for an EB3 visa under the Skilled Workers sub-category must:

  • have at least (and be able to prove) at least two years of job experience or training;
  • not be performing a job that is of a seasonal, temporary or part-time nature;
  • not be performing work for which qualified workers in the U.S. are unavailable.

In conjunction with their prospective employer, petitioners must first obtain certification from the Department of Labor verifying all of the above.

EB3 Visa Eligibility Requirements for Professionals

Individuals who wish to apply for an EB3 visa under the Professionals sub-category must:

  • have a B.A. degree from an accredited U.S. college or university, or an approved foreign degree equivalent (note: education combined with experience is not viewed by USCIS as an equivalent);
  • demonstrate that a B.A. degree is the normal requirement for the U.S.-based position they wish to attain (note: USCIS deems it irrelevant if a B.A. degree is required for a similar job in the petitioner’s native country);
  • establish a clear connection between the B.A. degree that the petitioner has achieved and the type of B.A. degree that is required for entry to the position they wish to obtain (i.e. if the petitioner’s B.A. degree is in nursing, and position requires a B.A. degree in engineering, USCIS will deem that this eligibility criteria has not been met and will reject the petition);
  • not be performing work for which qualified workers in the U.S. are unavailable.

As with the skilled workers category, petitioners who wish to obtain an EB3 visa as a professional must obtain certification from the Department of Labor verifying all of the above.     

EB3 Visa Eligibility Requirements for “Other Workers”

The “Other Workers” sub-category is for unskilled workers who wish to live and work in the U.S. Petitioner must:

  • be capable at the time of filing their petition of performing unskilled labor (USCIS defines this as labor requiring less than two years of training or experience);
  • not be performing a job that is of a seasonal, temporary or part-time nature;
  • not be performing work for which qualified workers in the U.S. are unavailable.

Again, petitioners who wish to obtain an EB3 visa as unskilled workers must obtain certification from the Department of Labor verifying all of the above. In addition, there is currently lengthy backlog for this sub-category. USCIS periodically updates this via monthly bulletins on their website at: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin.html. 

Family Members

Petitioners who successfully obtain an EB3 visa may request that their spouse and minor children (under the age of 21) join them in the U.S. If granted, spouses of EB3 visa holders are eligible to file for an Employment Authorization Document to legally earn income while they are applying for permanent resident status (i.e. green card).

Learn More 

The process of applying for an EB3 process is very complex and extremely detailed. Significant effort and coordination is required on the part of employers, and petitioners must ensure that their application is complete, compliant and 100% error-free.

To learn more, contact the Pollak Immigration team today. We will clearly and thoroughly answer your questions, help you fully understand the rules and requirements of all visa preference categories to which you may be eligible, and completely support you step-by-step if you and your employer wish to move ahead with a petition.

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Karen-Lee Pollak is the Managing Attorney at Pollak PLLC located in Dallas, Texas. She is a frequent speaker, author and blogger on immigration issues. She can be reached at karenlp@pollakimmigration or under her twitter handle law_immigration.

 

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