Employment-Based Immigration: Third Preference EB-3

Alert: On March 20, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the immediate and temporary suspension of premium processing service for all Form I-129 and I-140 petitions until further notice due to Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). 

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, 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”).

More Information

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