USA EB3 Visa for Skilled Workers & Professionals

As you know, one of the ways to immigrate to the US is to find an appropriate job position. Employment-based immigrant visas or EB visas allow you to live and work in the United States. This visa is divided into five categories, and each category is assigned to a specific group of people.
In the following, we are going to review information regarding the USA EB3 visa such as the processing time, the cost to be paid, priority date, interview questions, and more.

 

What is a USA EB3 visa?

EB3 visa is for applicants of the third preference who fall into one of the following categories:

  • Skilled workers: People in this category have at least two years of work experience or have completed a two-year training course. Their work experience should not be seasonal or temporary.
  • Professionals: These people need a higher education degree, such as a Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Unskilled workers: This visa is for those who have less than two years of work experience or training. EW3 visas are issued for these people, which we will discuss in the following.

A limited number of EB3 visas are issued per year. Therefore, not all eligible people can obtain their visas, and the processing time may be a bit longer. Of the approximately 140,000 employment-based visas issued each year, only 40,040 are issued to EB3 visa applicants. Once the annual issuance capacity is completed, all eligible applicants will be on the waiting list for next year.

 

What are the requirements of USA EB3 Visa?

If you want to qualify for an EB3 visa, you must consider the following:

Category Evidence Certification
Skilled workers 1. Proof of two years of work experience and training is required.
2. Post-secondary education may be considered as training.
3. A qualified worker who can do your job must not be available in the United States.
Labor certification + a full-time job offer
Professionals 1. You need to prove that you have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and this is a prerequisite for entry into the occupation.
2. Having education and experience can not be a substitute for a degree.
3. You must meet the other requirements of the labor certification
4. A qualified worker who can do your job must not be available in the United States.
Labor certification + a full-time job offer
Unskilled Workers 1. You need less than two years of work experience or training to do unskilled labor that is not temporary or seasonal.
2. A qualified worker who can do your job must not be available in the United States.
3. You must meet the other conditions of the labor certification.
Labor certification + a full-time job offer
  • You must first find an employer and a permanent job offer in the United States.
  • Your level of education and work experience should be commensurate with the job position you find.

On the other hand, in order to hire a foreign worker, the employer must consider the following:

  • The employer must prove that he/she could not find an appropriate and qualified employee among US citizens.
  • The employer must be able to pay financially for the sponsorship process as well as the offered salary of the EB3 visa holder.

 

How to apply for USA EB3 Visa?

To apply for an EB3 visa, an employer must first submit applications to the US Department of Labor (DOL) and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If approved, the employee can begin the visa application process.

Employer actions

1. Apply to DOL for labor certification

The employer must first send ETA Form 9089 to the US Department of Labor to prove that he/she could not find an eligible employee for the job position; therefore, he/she has to hire a foreign worker. The submission of this form also shows that the US employer has paid the workers’ salaries in accordance with the labor laws and that the salary received by the foreign worker is equivalent to the salary of a US citizen in a similar circumstance.

The DOL examines the application and informs the employer and the employee of the result. If approved, the employer will receive labor certification. He/she can then file his/her petition to the USCIS.

2. Submit an application to the USCIS

At this step, the employer must submit Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, to the USCIS. The employer must also provide other evidence to prove his/her financial viability:

  • Financial statements
  • Audits
  • Tax returns

USCIS reviews the petition and makes a decision. If the application is approved, the file will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). NVC assigns a case number to your petition. When the applicant’s priority date becomes current, NVC will send the case number, information on how to complete the Form DS-261, and performing a medical examination to the EB3 visa applicant.

 Employee actions

1. Complete and submit the Form DS-261

Visit the website of the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) to access this form. After completing the form, a confirmation page will appear, and you must send it to the NVC along with other documents.

2. Perform medical examinations and vaccinations

NVC will provide you with the necessary guidance on how to do medical examinations. You must go to a certified physician to complete some forms and documentation.

3. Prepare documents

As an EB3 visa applicant, you must provide the following documents:

  • Valid Passport: In general, a passport must be valid for at least six months from the date you leave the United States.
  • Two photos: The dimensions of the photo should be two by two.
  • Academic degrees and resume
  • Completed forms related to medical examinations and vaccinations
  •  Confirmation page of DS-261 Form
  • Employment letter written by the employer
  • The approved labor certification
  • The criminal records

4. Participate in a visa interview

After your documents are reviewed, NVC will schedule an interview appointment for you at the embassy. On the day of the interview, the consular officer will ask questions about the purpose of your trip to the United States and will decide whether you will be granted a visa.

5. Receive NVC package and travel to the USA

If your visa application is approved, NVC will send you a package that you are not allowed to open. This package will be opened in the United States by an immigration officer, and they will decide whether or not you will enter the United States.

USA EB3 Visa for Skilled Workers & Professionals

What questions might be asked in an EB3 Visa interview?

On the day of the interview, the consular officer will ask you questions that are often about the following:

  • The name of the company that is employing you
  • Your previous work experience
  • Your educational background, academic qualifications, and training

The consular officer generally asks questions to verify the information you have already provided.

 

How much does it cost to apply for an EB3 visa?

In the process of applying for a USA EB3 visa, the employer and employee must pay a fee to file their petition and complete the forms. The amount of costs varies, but in general, the employer and employee must pay a fee for the following:
Expenses paid by the employer:

  • Apply for a Labor Certification from the US Department of Labor
  • Cost of filing a Form I-140 petition

Expenses paid by the employee:

  • Doing medical examinations
  • Obtaining the supporting documents
  •  Translating documents into English

 

How long does it take to evaluate the submitted documents and issue a visa?

EB3 visa processing time is a bit long because there is an annual cap on the issuance of this visa. Applicants are expected to have to wait one to three years to obtain an EB3 visa. In some cases, applicants have to wait six years or more to get this visa.

 

What are the benefits of EB3 visa holders?

Foreign workers coming to the United States on an EB3 visa can start their job without obtaining an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). They can also live permanently in this country. Other benefits that these people have are:

  • Changing of employer and job position
  • Getting a Green Card
  • Traveling to and from the US
  • Living in different US states

 

Can an EB3 visa holder bring family members to the United States?

Yes. If you receive a USA EB3 visa, you can bring your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 to the United States. Skilled workers and professionals can apply for an E-34 visa for their spouse and an E-35 visa for their children.
Skilled workers can also bring their spouse to the United States on an EW-4 visa and their children on an EW-5 visa. Holders of these visas can work in the United States, but must first apply for an Employment Authorization Document.

 

Let’s sum up …

In this article, we have thoroughly reviewed the EB3 visa application process, requirements, costs, priority date, and interview questions. On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other US visas as well as how to immigrate to other countries.
If you have experience obtaining a visa, share it with other readers and us through the comments section. Conveying your experiences helps others to make better decisions.
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