EB3 is the third preference employment based immigrant visa category for foreign nationals to obtain permanent residency in the US. Eligible applicants for the EB3 green card include “skilled workers, professionals, and other workers.” If you are a foreign national and possess a degree or have work experience, you may be eligible for an EB3 green card.

Only 40,000 green cards in total are available each year for EB3 category, out of which 10,000 are allotted to unskilled workers.

Some of the highlights of the EB3 green card category include:

  • Provides permanent residence in the US.
  • The worker with permanent residency can travel freely.
  • For the EB3 process, the employer is the petitioner and alien is the beneficiary.
  • EB3 visa holders may apply for dependent visas for their spouse or unmarried children under age 21.

EB3 Subcategories

The EB3 immigrant visa category is comprised of three subcategories. These include:

  • EB-3A: The first subcategory is for Skilled Workers with at least 2 years of training or work experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature. Skilled workers eligible for this subcategory might include certain types of technical workers, chefs, construction supervisors, stonemasons, reporters, journalists, graphic designers, and fashion designers.
  • EB-3B: The second subcategory is for Professionals who have a US baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent. Professionals eligible for this subcategory might include architects, lawyers, physicians, engineers, and teachers.
  • EB-3C: The third subcategory is for Unskilled Workers or Other Workers with less than 2 years of training or work experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature. Eligible applicants for this category might include housekeepers, janitors, nurse’s aides, garden workers, and farm workers.                                

EB3 Requirements

Eligible and certification requirements for each EB3 immigrant visa category are detailed below.

Skilled Workers

  • Must be able to demonstrate at least 2 years of job experience or training.
  • Must be performing work for which qualified workers are not available in the US.

Professionals

  • Must demonstrate that he/she holds a US baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent and that a baccalaureate degree is required for the occupation.
  • Must be performing work for which qualified workers are not available in the US.

Other Workers

  • At the time the petition is filed, must be capable of performing unskilled labor that requires less than 2 years training or experience, is not of a temporary or seasonal nature, and for which qualified workers are not available in the US.

Sponsoring Employer

  • Must be able to show that he/she is able to pay the wage offered by the time of the beneficiary’s visa priority date.
  • Must provide documents such as an annual report, federal income tax return, or audited financial statement to demonstrate an ability to pay the wage.

All three EB3 subcategories require the following certification.

  • Labor certification
  • A permanent, full-time job offer from a US employer

Applying for EB3 Green Card

To apply for an EB3 immigrant visa, review the application process below:

  • Perform the labor certification or PERM process - Petitioner/Employer must sponsor the applicant & obtain a labor certification from the US Department of Labor on behalf of the alien. PERM: Labor Certification process
  • File a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker - Employer must petition for an alien worker to become a permanent resident in the US. This will confirm the applicant's priority date. The purpose is to prove that the applicant qualifies for EB-3 visa.
    One purpose of I-140 petition that requires a certified Labor Certification is to establish that the employer has the ability to pay the offered wage stated in the Labor Certification application.  Form I-140 application procedure.
  • File a Form I-485 or Take Consular Processing Interview - Upon approval of Form I-140, the beneficiary, if legally in US, may apply for adjustment of status or take consular processing interview at a US consulate in your country. The purpose is to become a lawful permanent resident of the US.Form I-485 application procedure and consular processing.

Additional Information

  • EB3 applicants may not “self-petition” for their immigrant visa; they require a sponsoring employer.
  • The applicant does not need to be employed when the labor certification is filed.
  • The spouse of EB3 applicant may be admitted to the US under E34 (spouse of a Professional or Skilled Worker) or EW4 (spouse of an Other Worker) visas.
  • Minor child of EB3 applicant may be admitted to the US under E35 (child of a Professional or Skilled Worker) or EW5 (child of an Other Worker) visas.
  • During the process when the applicant and his/her spouse are applying for Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status, the spouse is eligible to file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). 
  • Education and experience may not be substituted for a baccalaureate degree.