Third Preference Employment-Based Benefit for Professionals, Skilled, and
Other Workers (EB-3)
The EB-3 category allows professionals, skilled workers, and "other
workers" to obtain permanent residency in the United States based
on a petition filed by the alien's U.S. employer.
- Professionals must have a baccalaureate degree (or its foreign equivalent)
and be members of a profession.
- Skilled workers are employed in jobs that require at least 2 years of training
or work experience; relevant post-secondary education may be considered training.
- The other workers category applies to foreign nationals that have less
than two years of training and work experience.
- All three third preference categories require labor certification. During
this process, the petitioning employer must prove there are not sufficient
United States workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available
for the alien's position, and the employment of the alien will not
have an adverse effect on the wages and working conditions of similarly
situated workers in the United States. However, the labor certification
requirements vary for each category, particularly as to the recruitment
efforts the employer must undergo before petitioning for a foreign worker.
- Approximately 40,000 EB-3 visas are allocated each year, and each country's
visa allocation is capped at 7% of the total allotment. The "other
workers" category is subject to a quota of 10,000 visas per year.
The EB-3 category demand greatly exceeds the supply of visa numbers, and
aliens face significant wait times before they can immigrate or adjust
status in the U.S.
- The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may accompany the
principal EB-3 alien to the United States. The spouse and unmarried children
obtain permanent residence, are allowed to work in the United States and
may apply to become citizens after five years.
- The sponsoring employer must first file a labor certification application,
supra petition for alien worker with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services. Then, the employee must file. The EB-3 applicant may not self-petition.
The petitioner must show that it has the ability to pay the proper wage
to the alien worker and that alien worker has the education experience
to qualify for the job.
- Upon approval of the petition, the alien will be eligible to either adjust
status in the U.S. or apply for an immigrant visa at the appropriate consulate
abroad, after the priority date becomes current. As of early 2014, wait
times range from 1.5 to 10 years, depending on the alien's classification
and country of origin.
After unsuccessfully attempting to locate a qualified individual for a
computer systems analyst position, an IT company petitions on behalf of
a qualified analyst from South Africa. After demonstrating that the company
has undertaken the appropriate recruiting steps to fill the position and
will pay the South African employee the prevailing wage, USCIS approves
the petition. The alien may then immigrate once a visa becomes available.