Understanding the EB-3 Visa: A Pathway to a Green Card for Those with a U.S. Job Offer

The EB-3 visa is a third-preference employment-based immigrant visa that provides a path to permanent residency (Green Card) for individuals who have a job offer from a U.S. employer. This visa category is designed for skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers who meet specific criteria. Here, we will explore who is eligible for the EB-3 visa, the steps to obtain it, and the essential requirements.The EB-3 visa is a third-preference employment-based immigrant visa that provides a path to permanent residency (Green Card) for individuals who have a job offer from a U.S. employer. This visa category is designed for skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers who meet specific criteria. Here, we will explore who is eligible for the EB-3 visa, the steps to obtain it, and the essential requirements.

Who is Eligible for the EB-3 Visa?

The EB-3 visa is divided into three subcategories, each with its own eligibility criteria:

  1. Skilled Workers:
    • Must have at least two years of job experience, education, or training that meets the job requirements specified in the labor certification.
    • The job must be full-time and not temporary or seasonal.
  2. Professionals:
    • Must possess at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or a foreign equivalent degree.
    • The job must require a bachelor’s degree as the minimum entry requirement.
  3. Unskilled Workers (Other Workers):
    • Must be capable of performing unskilled labor (requiring less than two years of training or experience) that is not temporary or seasonal.
    • The job must be full-time and meet the labor certification requirements.

Steps to Obtain an EB-3 Visa

  1. Labor Certification (PERM):
    • The U.S. employer must first obtain a Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) from the Department of Labor (DOL). This process involves proving that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the position and that hiring a foreign worker will not negatively impact the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.
    • The employer must advertise the job, conduct recruitment, and document the results to demonstrate that no qualified U.S. workers were available.
  2. File Form I-140:
    • Once the labor certification is approved, the employer files Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
    • Include supporting documents such as the approved labor certification, evidence of the beneficiary’s qualifications, and proof of the employer’s ability to pay the offered wage.
  3. Priority Date:
    • After filing Form I-140, the beneficiary receives a priority date, which is based on the filing date of the labor certification or Form I-140, whichever is earlier. This date determines the beneficiary’s place in line for an immigrant visa number.
  4. Wait for Visa Availability:
    • The EB-3 visa category is subject to annual numerical limits, so beneficiaries may need to wait for their priority date to become current, as indicated in the Visa Bulletin published monthly by the U.S. Department of State.
  5. Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status:
    • Once the priority date is current, beneficiaries outside the U.S. can apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy through consular processing. Beneficiaries already in the U.S. can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to change their status to permanent resident.
  6. Attend the Interview:
    • Whether applying through consular processing or adjustment of status, beneficiaries will likely need to attend an interview. Be prepared to discuss the job offer, qualifications, and any additional requested documentation.
  7. Receive the Green Card:
    • If approved, beneficiaries receive their Green Card, granting them lawful permanent resident status in the U.S.

Essential Requirements for EB-3 Visa Applicants

  1. Valid Job Offer:
    • The applicant must have a valid, full-time job offer from a U.S. employer who is willing to sponsor them for the EB-3 visa.
  2. Approved Labor Certification:
    • The U.S. employer must obtain an approved labor certification (PERM) from the Department of Labor, demonstrating that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the position.
  3. Qualifications:
    • The applicant must meet the qualifications for the specific subcategory of the EB-3 visa (skilled worker, professional, or unskilled worker).
  4. Supporting Documentation:
    • Provide comprehensive supporting documentation, including evidence of job qualifications, labor certification approval, and proof of the employer’s ability to pay the offered wage.

Ready to Pursue Your Green Card?

Are you considering applying for an EB-3 visa to secure permanent residency in the United States? Contact us today to discuss your situation. Our team of immigration attorneys is dedicated to guiding you through the process and helping you achieve your immigration goals.

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