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Employment-Based Immigration: Third Preference EB-3

Employment-Based Immigration: Third Preference EB-3

You may be eligible for this immigrant visa preference category if you are a skilled worker, professional, or other worker.

  • “Skilled workers” are persons whose job requires a minimum of 2 years training or work experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature
  • “Professionals” are persons whose job requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent and are a member of the professions
  • The “other workers” subcategory is for persons performing unskilled labor requiring less than 2 years training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature.

Eligibility Criteria

Sub-categories

Evidence

Certification

Skilled Workers

  • You must be able to demonstrate at least 2 years of job experience or training
  • You must be performing work for which qualified workers are not available in the United States

Labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer required.

Professionals

  • You must be able to demonstrate that you possess a U.S. baccalaureate degree or foreign degree equivalent, and that a baccalaureate degree is the normal requirement for entry into the occupation
  • You must be performing work for which qualified workers are not available in the United States
  • Education and experience may not be substituted for a baccalaureate degree

Labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer required.

Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)

You must be capable, at the time the petition is filed on your behalf, of performing unskilled labor (requiring less than 2 years training or experience), that is not of a temporary or seasonal nature, for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.

Labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer required.

 

Note: While eligibility requirements for the third preference classification are less stringent, you should be aware that a long backlog exists for visas in the "other workers" category.  See the “Department of State: Visa Bulletin” link to the right.

U.S. Department of Labor – Labor Certification


Third preference petitions must generally be accompanied by an approved, individual labor certification from the Department of Labor on Form ETA-9089. In some cases, the petition may be submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) with an uncertified ETA-9089 for consideration as Schedule A, Group I. For more information, see the “Department of Labor: Foreign Labor Certification” link to the right.

Application Process


Your employer (petitioner) must file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. As part of the application process, your employer must be able to demonstrate an ability to pay the offered wage as of your visa priority date. Your employer may use an annual report, federal income tax return, or audited financial statement to demonstrate an ability to pay your wage.

For more information on filing fees, see the “File My Application Online” link to the right.

Family of EB-3 Visa Holders


Your spouse may be admitted to the United States in E34 (spouse of a “skilled worker” or “professional”) or EW4 (spouse of an “other worker”). During the process where you and your spouse are applying for permanent resident status (status as a green card holder), your spouse is eligible to file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).  Your minor children (under the age of 21) may be admitted as E35 (child of a “skilled worker” or “professional”) or EW5 (child of an “other worker”).

Last Reviewed/Updated: 12/03/2014