What is an EB3 visa?
EB3 is the third visa preference for employment-based immigrants in the United States. It is one of five categories of employment-based green cards that allow foreign professionals to live and work permanently in the United States. It is designed for 3 categories of candidates namely skilled workers, professionals and unskilled workers or other workers. You may qualify for the EB3 visa if you meet the requirements in one of the 3 categories. Each of the three categories is defined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the following ways:
- Skilled worker: worker who has at least 2 years of experience in their sector of expertise.
- Professional: Workers who have higher educational qualifications and need a professional license to work
- Unskilled or other workers: Workers capable of handling jobs that skilled workers are not available to handle
- Because of its relatively simple eligibility criteria, people who do not qualify for the EB1 green card and EB2 green card categories take advantage of the EB3 visa to immigrate and secure employment in the United States.
Who is eligible for the EB3 visa?
The three categories have different requirements for obtaining an EB3 visa.
For skilled workers:
A minimum of two years of work or training experience is required.
Relevant post-secondary education may be considered training
You must work in a role for which there is no availability of qualified U.S. workers.
You must perform a role for which no qualified worker in the United States is available
You must have adequate work experience in your professional field.
You must have a U.S. university degree or equivalent foreign degree from any country.
For unskilled workers or other workers:
You must fill a role for which no workers in the United States are available
You must be able to carry out non-seasonal and permanent unskilled work
A labor certification and a full-time or permanent work offer from a U.S. company are prerequisites for all three EB3 visa categories. The U.S. Department of Labor must authorize labor certification.
Documents you will need:
You must submit the aforementioned paperwork with your EB3 visa application.
- A foreign passport that is good for at least half a year.
- Two passport-sized photographs corresponding to the US visa are required
- Filled-out Form I-140 and Form I-907, if necessary
- Payment receipt for Form I-140 and Form I-907, if applicable
- Birth certificate
- Government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license
- Certification of labor granted by the US Department of Labor
- Employer’s job offer
- Academic qualification documents
- Tax payment documents
- You may also need to submit other case-specific documents. Additionally, if any of your supporting documents are in other languages, you will need to translate them into English and certify them. Original copies and translated copies need to be provided together.
EB3 application fees:
Form I-140 filing fees are $700, and Form I-907 premium processing filing fees are $2,500. Your employer, as a signatory, pays these expenses, not you.
Your employer must pay these fees before you can submit the forms. The payment receipt must be attached to the supporting documents. The Form 1907 fee is non-refundable regardless of whether your petition is approved or denied.
Other fees in addition to the official application fees may also apply. If necessary, you can pay for medical visits and vaccinations. Additionally, there can be fees for translations or, if necessary, a translator for your visa interview.
What is the EB3 visa application process?
Just like most other employment-based processes, employers submit EB3 visa applications. In other words, you cannot self-petition your application. The application process involves completing and submitting Form I-140.
Form I-140 is known as the Immigrant Petition Form for Foreign Workers. It is broken out into different sections to collect the essential data about the recipient (employee) and the employer. Your employer is required to submit information about the business or about themselves. This includes company names/designations, SSN or IRS tax numbers, and mailing addresses.
Your employer must also provide the necessary information about you, the employee or the beneficiary. This includes name, country of origin and date of birth. The I-140 form will be sent by mail.
You will get a notification from USCIS verifying that your application has been received after submission. Your employer can also send Form I-140 along with Form I-907 if they want expedited processing.
Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, is an optional service that allows petitioners to receive a decision on their petitions within 15 days. Processing the EB3 visa application takes a long time. Your employer can complete and submit Form I-907 to request that your application be processed more quickly. Premium processing is only possible if your employer passes an on-site inspection. Furthermore, it requires an additional registration fee.
How long does EB3 visa processing take?
The EB3 visa takes a relatively long time to process. It can take 1 to 3 years, depending on the country of origin. For some countries with a low annual visa cap, it can take up to 6 years. The processing time for PERM labor certification is approximately 6-9 months, as mentioned above.
If a skilled, professional, or unskilled worker located in the US becomes available during this waiting time, your visa request may be refused. This is why most employers choose to pay for premium processing services if they meet the requirements.
Your EB3 visa will be completed in 15 calendar days if you choose premium processing, which costs $2,500. Counting begins when USCIS receives Form I-1907. You must ensure that you provide all required items when submitting your Form I-1907 application. The 15 days begin after the department has received all the documents necessary for the application.
EB3 Visa Interview:
A visa interview is one of the main requirements in the EB3 application process. The interview is conducted at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. It’s no different than other US visa interviews. The aim is to verify that the information and documents presented are authentic.
When your visa is processed will determine the date of the interview. You will be sent an appointment letter, most likely via email, with the date of the interview. It is important to bring with you all the documents necessary for the interview. However, you do not have to carry copies of documents you have already sent with you.
Before the interview, it may be necessary to use biometric services. The immigration officer will quiz you about yourself throughout the interview. After the interview, your visa application should be approved if you provide all the required paperwork and do a good job of performing.
The EB3 visa stamp is applied to your foreign passport if your visa application is granted. You will also receive a sealed package that you should not open. Your package will be presented to a U.S. Customs officer at your point of entry.
It is important to travel before your visa expiry date. As an immigrant with an EB3 visa, your family is permitted to accompany you to the US.
EB3 visa refusal:
An EB3 visa application can be rejected for various reasons. The most common are fraud or misinterpretation of material facts. Some unqualified applicants try to obtain visas by providing false documents and information. This is not advisable because you may ruin other future chances of obtaining a visa.
In addition, if you have a criminal background, your application can be denied. This covers any and all foreign or domestic criminal records pertaining to drug trafficking, armed robberies, and other crimes. If you have overstayed your previous visa in the United States, your application may also be denied. You can get a waiver if your application is rejected for reasons that are not too serious.
Family of EB3 green card holders:
Your family members can apply for derivative visas in the EB3 category. This applies to spouses and unmarried children up to age 21. Available visas include:
- E34 Visa: For spouses of professionals and skilled laborers
- EW4 Visa: For spouses of unskilled workers or other workers
- E35 visa: For children of skilled workers and professionals
- EW5 Visa: For children of unskilled workers or other workers
Is it difficult to get an EB3 visa?
The EB3 is not difficult to obtain compared to other employment-based visas, such as the EB1 and EB2 categories. It is less controlled, especially for unskilled workers. The only difficulty is the very long waiting time.
How long does the EB3 visa last?
The EB3 visa is a permanent resident visa, so it does not expire. Your status as a lawful permanent resident, or green card, is immediately granted to you. However, you must renew your green card after 10 years or if it is lost, stolen or damaged. You are free to live and work anywhere in the US if you have a green card. You can also always travel out and re-enter the country without having to go through a visa application process. As an alternative, after five years as a permanent resident, you can seek to become a citizen of the US.
Which is better between EB2 and EB3 visas?
Which of the two categories is better depends on each candidate’s background and skills. The Green Card is obtained through the EB2 and EB3 permanent visas. They are thus both rather well-liked. On the other hand, the EB2 visa has stricter restrictions than the EB3 visa. Additionally, there is a subclass of EB-2 that permits candidates to self-file in the absence of a job offer from a U.S. business. The term “National Interest Waiver” (NIW) describes this.