What is the EB-3 Category for Employment-Based Green Cards?
This category is based on an offer of employment from a U.S. company. The sub-category of EB-3 depends on the requirements of the job being offered. The job requirements are set out in the labor certification which must first be filed by the employer to demonstrate that there is a shortage of qualified workers available in the area of employment for the position. 28.6% of employment-based green cards annually available are allocated to the EB-3 category.
EB-3 Professional is for a job offer that requires at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or the foreign equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree.
EB-3 Skilled Worker is for jobs that require at least 2 years of experience, education, or training. Training can include relevant post-secondary education.
Other Worker is for jobs that are considered unskilled labor, requiring less than 2 years of training or experience.
What is the process to apply for an EB-3 green card?
Prior to filing an EB-3 I-140 petition, the U.S. employer must obtain a prevailing wage determination from the Department of Labor to ensure that its wage offer for the position does not undercut the wages of U.S. workers. The employer must also undertake several forms of recruitment in order to first try to find a qualified U.S. worker. Once it is determined that no qualified U.S. worker is available, the labor certification is filed and certified. This process can take up to 2 years to complete under current processing times.
Upon approval of the labor certification, the employer next files an I-140 petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. This petition must demonstrate that a labor certification has been obtained, that the worker being sponsored for the job meets all education, training, experience, and special skill or licensure requirements, and that the company has the ability to pay the wage offered to the worker being sponsored. The I-140 petition can take 6 months or more to be processed. For an additional filing fee, the I-140 petition can be filed or upgraded to premium processing, which allows for adjudication within 15 days.
If the sponsored worker is in the United States maintaining a nonimmigrant status, and a visa number is available according to the monthly Visa Bulletin based on the worker’s country of birth and category, the worker can file an application for Adjustment of Status to that of Lawful Permanent Resident. If the worker is outside the United States or not eligible for Adjustment of Status, the remainder of the process of obtaining the green card is completed at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad through Consular Processing.