- What is an EB-3 Visa?
- What is an EB-3 Green Card?
- Which people are eligible for an EB-3 Visa Green card?
- What are the requirements to hold an EB-3 Visa?
- What is the Processing Time for an EB-3 Visa?
- What is the Process of the PERM Labor Certification?
- Will the EB-3 Visa Benefit my Family?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is an EB-3 Visa?
The EB-3 Visa works as a Third Priority Worker visa. It is available for those classed as skilled workers, professionals who hold a bachelor’s degree and eventually other workers classed as unskilled.
In order to be eligible for the visa, the applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree or a minimum of 2 years training or work experience.
For this visa type, a quota system is applied. Every year, the USCIS will allocate around 40,040 EB-3 visas every year. Once this number is reached, all further applications for an EB-3 visa that are submitted will be put on hold until the following year.
At Total Law, we have professionals that are experts at guiding clients through the often complicated application processes for visas such as the EB-3 visa. We are always here to offer such guidance and support, and you can reach us at
What is an EB-3 Green Card?
The EB-3 Green Card works as a skilled worker visa that is available to overseas nationals that have received an employment offer form a sponsor within the United States. It is mainly intended to help those that have not qualified for other forms of employment-based visas.
There are 3 subcategories included in the EB-3 Visa;
- Skilled workers who have at least 2 years work experience or training
- Professionals whose employments requires a higher education degree and a professional license
- Other workers, who are working in a job in which qualified workers are not available in the United States at the time of the petition
Which People are Eligible for an EB-3 Visa Green card?
- You must have 2 years of work experience or training
- You must be working in an employment sector in which qualified workers are not available in the US workforce at the time of submitting your application
- You must hold a United States baccalaureate degree or an overseas equivalent
- No skilled workers must be currently available to perform the role in the United States
- You must have sufficient job experience (which cannot be substituted by your educational background)
- You must have the ability to perform a form of unskilled labour that is not of a seasonal or temporary nature
- There must be no domestic workers in the US that are available to perform the job role at the time of your application
What are the Requirements to Hold an EB-3 Visa?
To be eligible for this visa, an applicant must;
- Hold a labor certification
- Have a full time, permanent job
- Be able to demonstrate that there are no domestic US workers in the US workforce available to perform your job role
- Have received an employment offer from an employer based within the United States
Based on your subcategory for the EB-3 Visa, there may be other requirements;
- Skilled workers must have a minimum of at least 2 years training or work experience
- Professionals must prove they hold a position in which a higher education degree is required
- Unskilled workers must prove they are performing in a job role in which there are no US domestic workers in the workforce available to perform that role. They are allowed to have less than 2 years work experience.
What is the Processing Time for an EB-3 Visa?
It is possible for the whole process of applying for an EB-3 visa to take any time between 1 and 3 years. However, applicants from certain countries could face a wait of up to 6 years because of the annual visa cap set by the USCIS.
Your sponsor could pay an additional fee of $1,410 to shorten the processing time of your EB-3 visa. However, this may not help if your permit priority date is still not current. Employers that are qualified for speciality roles from Australia may meet the requirements to apply for an E3 visa. Since this permit is solely targeted at Australian nationals, the processing time may be significantly shorter.
Before sponsoring your application, it is necessary that your employer be able to prove that there are no available United States domestic workers that could perform the job role. This can be done by getting a labor certification from the Department of Labor (DoL) and filing the ETA Form 9089.
What is the Process of the PERM Labor Certification?
To receive an EB-3 visa, it is necessary to get a PERM labor certification from the United States Department of Labor.
Your US employer that is sponsoring you is not allowed to hire overseas workers directly. They first need to establish that there are no available United States domestic workers who could fill the work position.
To complete approval, the PERM certification must also pass a Prevailing Wage Determination. Therefore, your US based sponsor will need to prove that the job vacancy has also been advertised in relevant agencies and major local newspapers.
The Department of Labour may also ask to be given access to a detailed record of the recruitment process that the US based sponsor has conducted to fill the advertised position.
Will the EB-3 Visa Benefit my Family?
If you hold an EB-3 visa then your immediate relatives can join you within the United States.
For those included in the skilled worker and professional subcategories, spouses can apply for an E-34 visa. Eligible unmarried children can also apply for an E-35 permit.
For unskilled workers, your spouse may be eligible for an EW-4 visa. Eligible unmarried children could apply for an EW-5 visa.
For those in all subcategories, eligible spouses of EB-3 visa holders can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) which could grant them the right to work within the United States.
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If your labor certification is approved, your US based sponsor can then petition for your EB-3 visa by filing the Form I-140. The USCIS may ask for access to your US based sponsor’s statements and tax returns as proof of supporting financial documents.
You can then fill out your Form DS-261 which is from your country of residence. At some point, the USCIS will ask you, the applicant, to undergo a medical examination. You will then also have to attend an interview to present your supporting documents.
It is necessary for all EB-3 applicants to ensure that they have a US based employer sponsoring them, it is not possible to self-petition for this visa.
The EB-3 visa has several fees, with some being paid by you and some by your US based employer. These include;
- The Labor certification by the department of Labor fees (paid by your employer)
- Application processing fees ($345)
- Fees for filing the Immigration Petition for Alien Worker ($700)
- Biometric fees for your medical examinations
- Any further costs for translating your documents, if applicable
- Premium processing fees if needed ($1,410)
The EB-3 visa is a popular visa and in high demand. Considering there is a quota attached to this visa type too, it is recommended that you have an expert by your side throughout the application to prevent mistakes and delays.
Our immigration lawyers here at Total Law are always here to provide you advice and support.
If you are a US based employer, we can aid you in the application for the PERM Labor Certification. In addition to this, we can help with filing your application forms to the best standard possible, checking if you and your employer meet the requirements for the visa and following you and your relatives through the whole application process.
You can schedule your first consultation with us by calling us on