EB-3 Visa Essentials: Your Pathway to U.S. Permanent Residency

Employment-Based Immigration Third Preference (EB-3)

The EB-3 green card is a major category for employment-based permanent residency in the United States, offering a pathway for individuals to live and work in the U.S. permanently. This visa category is divided into three main groups:

  1. Professional: Aimed at individuals who possess a bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent.
  2. Skilled Workers: For those with at least two years of job-specific training or experience.
  3. Unskilled Workers: Targeting applicants with less than two years of work experience or vocational training.

Specially designed for foreign workers who have secured a permanent job offer in the U.S. and meet the necessary work experience and education requirements, the EB-3 visa stands as a direct route to achieving permanent residency. At Passage Immigration Law, our experienced visa lawyers excel in guiding clients through the EB-3 application process, from assessing eligibility and determining the correct labor category to assisting with all stages of the application process.

Requirements and Eligibility for EB-3 Skilled Workers and Professionals

If you boast at least two years of work experience or training and have received a job offer from a U.S. employer, you may be eligible for permanent residency as an EB-3 skilled worker. The job in question must also mandate a minimum of two years of experience for entry-level positions. Furthermore, if you hold a bachelor’s degree and have been offered a job by a U.S. employer in a profession that demands such an educational standard as a baseline, you could qualify as an EB-3 professional. Your degree must be a four-year bachelor’s degree, as work experience cannot be used instead of educational requirements in this category.

Degrees earned outside the United States require an independent credential evaluation to verify that they equate to a four-year degree from a U.S. institution. An EB-3 professional role may demand work experience in addition to a bachelor’s degree as the minimum qualification. However, if the job’s work experience requirement exceeds five years, you might also be eligible for the EB-2 (second preference) category, depending on the specifics of your role.

Both EB-3 skilled workers and professionals need to secure an approved PERM Labor Certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor, demonstrating that no suitable U.S. workers are available for the position. This certification is a critical step to ensure that employing a foreign worker will not negatively impact American labor market opportunities.

EB-3 Other Workers

If you’re offered a permanent role by a U.S. employer in a job that demands less than two years of experience, you may be eligible under the “other workers” category of the employment-based green card. The job must be neither temporary nor seasonal, and your employer must submit a Form I-140 to USCIS following a successful labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. Given the limited immigrant visas designated for this group, securing your green card as an EB-3 other worker could face delays, highly influenced by your nationality and application timing.

Steps for EB-3 Green Card

Step 1: Find an Employer and Obtain Labor Certification

Securing a sponsoring employer is the initial step toward your green card. Your employer must undertake a thorough recruitment drive to establish the prevailing wage for your position within the intended work area, aiming to acquire the PERM Labor Certification from the Department of Labor.

Step 2: Submit Form I-140

Following the labor certification, your sponsor will file an I-140 petition with USCIS. The filing date becomes your priority date. Monitoring the monthly visa bulletin issued by the Department of State is essential to determine when your priority date becomes “current,” aligning with the final action dates in the latest bulletin.

Step 3: Submit Form I-485

Upon your priority date turning current, and if residing in the U.S., you’re eligible to lodge a Form I-485 to adjust your status. Approval of your I-485 transitions your status to a legal permanent resident, marking a significant milestone in your EB-3 green card process.

What Happens If My EB-3 Visa is Rejected?

Experiencing a rejection on your EB-3 visa application can significantly impact your immigration journey. Understanding the common pitfalls and strategizing on how to navigate them is key to avoiding potential setbacks.

Common reasons for an EB-3 green card application being rejected include:

  • Submission of inaccurate, inconsistent, or incomplete information.
  • Incorrect filing fee payment.

The proactive step is to collaborate closely with your immigration attorney to address any discrepancies and resubmit the petition.

Should your application face denial, it indicates a comprehensive review by an immigration officer has concluded your petition does not meet the EB-3 visa requirements. This could be due to:

  • The job position does not meet EB-3 criteria.
  • Your employer not fulfilling the EB-3 sponsorship requirements.
  • Failure to pass the background check.

In such instances, options include reapplying with additional evidence, appealing the decision through the Administrative Appeals Office, or submitting a legal motion to reopen the case.

How Can an EB-3 Visa Lawyer Help You?

Navigating the EB-3 visa process requires meticulous attention to detail and a deep understanding of immigration law. At Passage Immigration Law, our team of seasoned EB-3 visa lawyers specializes in evaluating your eligibility, advising on the most appropriate application route, and ensuring all documentation is accurately prepared.

We partner with you and your employer to streamline every phase of the application, offering expert guidance to enhance your chance of approval. For personalized support and to begin your EB-3 visa application, contact us at (503) 427-8243 or schedule your initial consultation through our website.


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