Third Preference (EB-3)

The EB-3 visa is an immigrant visa (preference category three)  for U.S. employment-based permanent residency. The visa is reserved for individuals who are defined as “skilled workers,” “professionals,” or “other  workers” (also known as unskilled workers). Although the qualifications for an EB-3 visa are less stringent than either an EB-1 or an EB-2 visa, the backlog and waiting times for it may be longer.

EB-3 Requirements

Unlike applicants for an EB-1 visa, EB-3 visa applicants require a sponsorship from an employer. In all instances, EB-3 applicants must have both a labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer to qualify. There are three subcategories within the umbrella of EB-3 applicants ––  skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers. They are required to produce different levels of evidence in order to apply for the visa.

EB-3 Skilled Worker Requirements

  • Demonstrate at least two years of job experience or training.
  • Work must involve employment for which qualified workers in the U.S. are unavailable.

EB-3 Professional Requirements

  • Possess a U.S. baccalaureate (bachelor’s degree) or foreign equivalent. (Note, the position must normally call for a professional with a bachelor’s degree.)
  • Work must involve employment for which qualified workers in the U.S. are unavailable. 

EB-3 Unskilled Worker Requirements

  • Must be able to perform unskilled labor on a permanent basis. (This excludes seasonal work.)
  • Work must involve employment for which qualified workers in the U.S. are unavailable.

EB-3 Application Process

The application for an EB-3 visa begins with the employer –– otherwise known as the petitioner. They must file form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. From there, the employer must demonstrate that they are able to pay the applicant the offered wage (usually this is done by sending in an annual report, statement, or tax return).

The second phase of the application process switches from the petitioner to the applicant. To successfully apply for an EB-3 visa, an applicant must: 

  • Obtain a Permanent Labor Certification from the Department of Labor.
  • Complete Form I-140.
  • Submit filing fees. (Example: the filing fee for form I-140 is $700.)
  • Submit evidence related to the application. (Such as a bachelor’s degree, for instance.)
  • Sign and file the form(s).

EB-3 Alternatives

Employment-based visa alternatives to the EB-3 visa include the EB-1 (first preference) and EB-2 (second preference) visas. EB-1 visas are reserved for aliens who are outstanding professors, researchers, executives, or individuals with “extraordinary ability.” EB-2 visas are reserved for individuals who hold an advanced degree or equivalent in their field, or for those who display “exceptional ability” in the arts, sciences, or business.

Contact an EB-3 Lawyer

Our managing EB-3 attorney Karen-Lee Pollak and experienced immigration support team will work with you to determine the best possible employment preference category for you.

Our firm provides full-service professional legal advice and representation to help you find an immigration solution to your visa needs. Please contact us to discuss your immigration options.

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