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EB-3 Visa

The EB-3 visa, also known as the Third Preference Worker visa, enables U.S. employers to bridge gaps in their workforce…

The EB-3 visa, also known as the Third Preference Worker visa, enables U.S. employers to bridge gaps in their workforce by hiring foreign workers when there is a shortage of U.S. workers. In addition, it offers a pathway to permanent residency for both skilled and unskilled foreign workers seeking to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis. The EB-3 visa category is designed for “skilled workers,” “professionals,” and “other workers.”

Skilled workers

Skilled workers are foreign nationals whose job roles demand a minimum of 2 years of training or work experience. This category does not permit temporary or seasonal positions. Examples of skilled workers include graphic designers, journalists, reporters, some computer and technical workers, and stonemasons.


Professionals are workers who hold a U.S. bachelor’s degree or an equivalent foreign degree, and who belong to a recognized profession. The job role that the professional is filling must demand a bachelor’s degree as the minimum requirement for entry into that occupation. Some examples of workers who would fit into the EB-3 Professional category include lawyers, engineers, doctors, and teachers.

Other Workers

This is the third subcategory allocated to individuals who perform unskilled labor, which does not require more than two years of training or experience. Due to annual visa limit restrictions, the “other workers” category often faces extended wait times for visa availability compared to the “skilled workers” and “professionals” categories. Examples of foreign nationals who would be considered “Other Workers” include farm workers, nurse’s aides, nannies, and janitors.

Requirements for an EB-3 Visa

One of the most important requirements across all EB-3 visa subcategories is that the applicant must have a full-time job offer from an employer in the U.S. in order to apply for the visa. The employer must be willing to sponsoring the foreign worker for a green card by filing a Form I-140, which is the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. This form serves as an official petition for the foreign worker to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis.

In addition, the employer must first obtain a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This certification is a vital part of the process as it affirms that there are insufficient U.S. workers who are available, willing, and suitably qualified to fill the position at hand. The certification also validates that the employment of foreign workers will not negatively impact the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers employed in similar roles.

Once the labor certification and Form I-140 are approved, and once a visa number becomes available, the foreign worker can proceed to apply for a green card. The availability of the visa number is determined by the worker’s priority date, which refers to the date when the labor certification application was accepted for processing by the DOL.

Navigating the process of securing an EB-3 visa can be intricate and time-consuming, requiring careful planning, thorough preparation, and a great deal of patience. This process ensures that both the needs of U.S. employers and the rights and opportunities of foreign workers are adequately safeguarded. At FL-ILC, we can provide expert guidance to employers by helping them to determine whether their proposed employee meets the requirements for an EB-3 visa, and leading them through each step of the process.

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