Many different types of employment-based immigration programs allow hopeful foreign nationals to come to the United States and lawfully work here. One popular option is the third preference or third-priority worker visa; the EB-3 visa program allows a foreign worker to become gainfully employed and take up permanent residence in the U.S. provided they meet specific educational, training, or work experience criteria, which we’ll discuss at more length below. This program was created with the intention of ensuring U.S. employers can find qualified workers when there is no available domestic supply of candidates.

If, after reading this information, you believe that you meet the established criteria for the EB-3, consider reaching out to us for help with the process. Also, since immigration is a federal matter, we assist employers nationwide in navigating the EB-3 visa process, so contact us with your inquiries. We’re eager to answer any lingering questions you may have about this employment-based immigration program.

EB-3 Visa Application Process

Who Is Eligible for an EB-3 Visa?

Individuals wishing to qualify for the EB-3 visa must be able to meet the job requirements, in other words, be able to perform all the tasks the job requires to be eligible for a role with the U.S.-based company and to receive the same offered wage domestic workers would typically receive. Foreign workers must also commit to working for up to two years with their U.S. employer to qualify for this visa in addition to falling into one of the qualifying categories outlined by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

Skilled Workers

A skilled worker is described as an employee who has completed at least two years of training or job experience. Relevant post-secondary education may be considered as a replacement for practical job experience.


Workers with a higher education degree, such as a bachelor’s degree (or its foreign degree equivalent). That foreign equivalent baccalaureate degree must be in an area related to the job position you’re being sponsored for. Practical work experience and uncompleted degrees cannot be considered in lieu of the bachelor’s degree requirement.

Other Workers: Unskilled Workers or Laborers Not Performing Work of Temporary or Seasonal Nature

The EB3-Other visa forms part of the EW unskilled worker program. An alien worker with less than two years of employment experience or training who is interested in performing unskilled labor in the U.S. may be eligible for this travel document, which can secure them a green card.

What Is the Process To Apply for the EB-3 Visa?

The application process for the EB-3 involves multiple steps, some of which the sponsoring employer and others which the prospective worker must follow, including

  1. A prospective employer has to file a Labor Certification Application electronically through this U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) portal
  2. The DOL reviews the employer’s PERM Labor Certification Application to determine if any qualified U.S. workers are available to fill the employment vacancy instead
  3. Provided the DOL determines that there are indeed no qualified U.S. workers available to fill the job role, an employer would next file a Form I-140, Immigration Petition for Foreign Worker, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  4. The USCIS then reviews the I-140 petition to assess whether the employer qualifies to sponsor foreign workers for EB-3 employment-based immigrant visas
  5. Once the USCIS approves the I-140 petition, the foreign national, whether they’re a professional, a skilled worker, or looking to perform unskilled labor, is eligible to file an I-485, which is the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, an application which is the first step in acquiring U.S. permanent resident status
  6. The USCIS reviews the I-485 application to determine if the foreign worker qualifies for an EB-3 visa.

A USCIS representative will review the submitted supporting documentation, and the green card applicant will have to submit to an interview with a consular official before any decision about the approval of their I-485 application will be made. Provided everything checks out, the foreign worker will receive an EB-3 visa allowing them to move to the United States to work in a permanent full-time job and secure permanent residence in our country.

EB-3 Visa Documents Needed

FAQs About EB-3 Visas

Below are some of the more common questions we receive about the EB-3 visa. Please feel free to reach out to our employment-based immigration law firm, WA Law Group, LLC, for any additional information about the topics below or any unaddressed inquiries.

EB-3 visa wait times vary, depending on various factors, including the prospective employee’s occupation and country of citizenship. While most candidates for the EB3 wait no more than 12 to 24 months to secure this visa, it can take considerably longer than that for some. This is one of the reasons why beginning this employment-based immigration process as early as possible is imperative.

Your immediate family members, such as a spouse or children, can also apply to join you in the U.S. once your I-140 gets approved. Generally, the spouse of a professional or skilled worker would be able to apply under the E34 visa program, whereas an unskilled worker classified as an EB3-Other would first need to secure an EW-4 visa before immigrating to this country. Any dependent children, which are unmarried children under age 21, would also qualify to join you here.

Securing an EB-3 visa costs the immigrant applicant around $345; however, employers must pay a filing fee of $700 along with the I-140 form, making it cost over $1,000 to secure this visa.

Securing this type of visa requires much more than just filling in the immigration petition forms described above. Some of the supporting documents required for submission along with your visa application include documentation like:

  • Copies of the confirmation page of your DS-260 (Immigrant Visa Electronic Application)
  • Proof of your educational background
  • Proof of a complete medical examination
  • Submission of your criminal records (or official documentation showing the lack thereof)

U.S. employers must make certain disclosures by submitting documentation that shows why they need to hire alien workers and their capacity to afford to have them.

Why You Need the Support of an Immigration Lawyer When Applying for an EB-3 Visa

There are annual visa cap limits that apply to how many skilled workers, professionals, and other workers (unskilled laborers) may secure an EB-3 each year to come to the U.S. Those limits for employment-based adjustment of status are listed in the visa bulletin published by the immigration service. You can expect an immigration attorney like ours at WA Law Group, LLC to readily know that information and how that may impact the processing of applications.

It’s also possible for obstacles to arise along the visa application process. Our law firm can provide you with guidance in responding to those scenarios. So, if you’re looking to recruit foreign workers for your company or for answers as you apply for the EB-3 yourself, please reach out for assistance. We’re confident in our ability to help you.


11140 Rockville Pike # 620, Rockville, MD 20852-3117

(301) 881-8422

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