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A Comprehensive Guide to Employment-Based Immigration: EB-3

In one previous article, we introduced EB-2 Employment-Based Immigration. This program is designed for those who possess advanced degrees, outstanding skills, and a commitment to making a significant impact in their respective fields. Today we will explore the EB-3, its eligibility criteria, and the application process.

1. What is the EB-3 Green Card?

The EB-3 visa falls under the employment-based third preference category. Designed for foreign skilled workers, foreign professionals, and all other foreign workers or unskilled workers, the EB-3 offers a pathway to permanent residence for applicants without a Master’s degree or above.

2. Who qualifies?

There are three types of EB-3 Green Cards. EB-3(A) (Skilled workers) requires at least two years of job experience or training. EB-3(B) (Professionals) requires a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent. EB-3(C)(Unskilled workers) requires the applicant to be capable of performing unskilled labor that requires less than two years of training or experience.

3. What is the application process?

Similar to the EB-2 employment-based Green Card, the EB-3 requires a full-time, permanent job offer from the sponsoring U.S. employer.

The first step is to obtain the PERM labor certification, including the prevailing wage determination (PWD) request, the “recruitment stage”, and the PERM (Form 9089) application. This process may take from 18 to 22 months, depending on the processing time.

The next step is to file the I-140 Immigration Petition. In this step, it’s important to provide evidence that the foreign national is qualified for this position; and the U.S. employer has the ability to pay the foreign national the proffered wage determined in the PWD. The I-140 processing time could take a few months, but there’s an option to do premium processing, which guarantees a result within 15 calendar days.

After the I-140 is approved, the last step is to file the I-485 Adjustment of Status (if the applicant is in the U.S.) or apply for a visa interview with the U.S. consulate outside of the U.S., once the visa becomes available. For foreign nationals from certain countries, the visa won’t be immediately available until after a few years of waiting period. In that case, you will be assigned a priority date after the I-140 approval, which will be the date the PERM was filed. You or your attorney should pay close attention to the visa bulletin and file the I-485 as soon as the visa becomes available.

Anderson and Associates Law, P.C. has a team of experienced attorneys and law clerks who have handled thousands of EB-3 immigration matters and assisted applicants in obtaining green cards. If you think you qualify for the EB-3 Green Card, or if you have any questions regarding this type of Green Card application, please feel free to reach out to Anderson and Associates Law, P.C. at

Author: Robyn Gao. Robyn (Qiongyu) Gao is an associate at Anderson & Associates Law, P.C. Robyn focuses her practice on business immigration and general corporate matters. Prior to joining the firm, Robyn worked for McKinsey & Company as a consultant, where she advised corporations on branding and marketing strategies. Robyn graduated from Emory University School of Law with a J.D. degree and earned her LL.B. and B.A. from Beijing Foreign Studies University.


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