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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 jobs require a minimum of 2 years training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature. The skilled worker must meet the educational, training, or experience requirements of the job opportunity. Relevant post-secondary education may be considered as training.
  • “Professionals” are persons whose job requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate or foreign equivalent degree and are a member of the professions.
  • The “other workers” subcategory is for persons performing unskilled labor requiring less than 2 years training, education, or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature.
Eligibility Criteria
Sub-categories Evidence Certification
Skilled Workers
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you possess at least 2 years of job experience, education, or training that meets the job requirements specified on the labor certification.
  • Relevant post-secondary education may be considered as 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 demonstrate that you possess a U.S. baccalaureate or foreign equivalent degree, 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.
  • You must meet any other requirements specified on the labor certification.
Labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer required
Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)
  • You must demonstrate the ability to perform unskilled labor (requiring less than 2 years training or experience), that is not of a temporary or seasonal nature.
  • You must be performing work for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.
  • You must meet any other requirements specified on the labor certification.
Labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer required.

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 on Schedule A, Group I, read our policy in Volume 6, Part E, Chapter 7,  of the USCIS Policy Manual.

For more information, see the Department of Labor: Foreign Labor Certification page.

Application Process

Your employer (petitioner) must file a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. As part of the application process, your employer must be able to demonstrate a continuing ability to pay the offered wage as of the priority date. Your employer may use an annual report, federal income tax return, or audited financial statement to demonstrate a continuing ability to pay your wage.
For more information on filing fees, see File My Application Online.

Family of EB-3 Visa Holders

If your I-140 petition is approved, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible to apply for admission to the United States in E34 (spouse of a “skilled worker” or “professional”) or EW4 (spouse of an “other worker”). and E35 (child of a “skilled worker” or “professional”) or EW5 (child of an “other worker”).

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