The process for non-U.S. citizens to legally live and work in the United States can be complex and frustrating. Garvish Immigration Law Group provides employment-based immigration services and represents corporate and individual clients across the globe in all industry sectors. We have extensive experience representing and advising employers in all areas of business immigration, including temporary employment visas, permanent residency, labor certifications and other work permits. We support our clients in the preparation of employment-based petitions and support their Human Resources team and in-house counsel to devise corporate immigration policies and strategies. An EB-3 green card is a PERM labor-based business immigration option for qualified professionals, skilled workers and other unskilled foreign workers.
In today’s competitive environment, businesses are increasingly in need of fresh, talented and available employees. In many cases, their best or only option is to hire a foreign employee. If your company is thinking about sponsoring an unskilled worker, skilled worker, or professional foreign worker, you may have questions about starting the EB-3 visa process:
- What is an EB-3 Visa?
- What are the Requirements for an EB-3 Visa?
- How can my business hire a foreign worker on an EB-3 Visa?
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EB-3 Visa For Skilled Workers, Professionals and Unskilled Workers
What is an EB-3 Visa?
An EB-3 Visa is an employment-based visa and one of the most popular ways for immigrants to get hired by a U.S. company and obtain legal permanent residence (green card). While other employment-based visas require advanced degrees or extraordinary ability, the EB-3 Visa does not.
An employment-based third preference EB-3 is designed to help American companies hire people within the following categories:
- Foreign Skilled Workers
- Foreign Professionals
- Unskilled Foreign Workers
What Are The Requirements For an EB-3 Visa?
The eligibility criteria for an EB-3 visa depend on the specific subcategories. For example, a skilled worker must meet different qualifications than a professional worker. However, each subcategory requires the following:
- Labor Certification
- Permanent, full-time job offer
- Unavailability of U.S. workers who are willing or able to perform the job offered
The specific requirements for each subcategory include but are not limited to the following.
EB-3 Visa Requirements For Skilled Workers
- A minimum of two years experience, education or training for the job requirements
- Post-secondary education (relevant to the job) can sometimes be substituted for experience
EB-3 Visa Requirements For Unskilled Workers
- Demonstration of the ability to undertake unskilled labor that requires less than 24 months of training or experience
- The occupation can’t be seasonal or temporary
EB-3 Visa Requirements For Professional Workers
- Possess a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution or its equivalency
- A bachelor’s degree is the typical requirement for entry into the field
- Education or experience can’t be substituted for a bachelor’s degree
EB-3 Visa Employer Requirements
- The employer must prove that they could not find qualified, available or willing workers for the job
- The employer must be financially able to pay and sponsor the foreign worker
What Are The Benefits Of An EB-3 Visa?
EB-3 visas benefit employers, foreign workers and the economy. A few employee benefits of obtaining an employment based third preference visa include the ability to:
- Obtain permanent resident status (green card)
- Obtain permanent resident status for the employee’s spouse and minor children
- Freely travel inside the U.S. and abroad
- Ability to apply for U.S. citizenship after 5 years of permanent resident status
Frequently Asked Questions About EB-3 Visas
Yes. EB-3 visa green card holders may apply for citizenship after being a permanent resident in the U.S. for at least 5 years. However, EB-3 permanent residents must also meet all other requirements for citizenship.
The time it takes to get an EB-3 visa depends on many factors. Currently, it takes about –2-3 years, depending on the case. Generally, you can expect the following timeline when applying for an EB-3 visa:
- PERM Labor Certification: 10 months to 1.5 years
- Form I-140: Approximately 9 months without Premium Processing, or roughly 2 weeks with Premium Processing
- Priority Date (Visa Availability): A few months to 10+ years, depending on the employee’s country of citizenship
- Visa Processing or Adjustment of Status: 1-2 years
Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) is the system used to obtain a Labor Certification for foreign nationals.
Labor certifications are issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Employers must obtain a labor certification before submitting a petition (Form I-140) with USCIS. Before the certification is issued, the DOL must certify that there are not enough U.S. workers who are qualified, available or willing to accept the work in the desired area of employment.
If you need an EB-3 Visa for your future or current foreign employee, it’s in your best interest to consult with an Atlanta business immigration lawyer for EB-3 visas as soon as you can. A business immigration attorney for immigrant visas can help you in the following ways:
- Walk you through the complicated EB-3 visa process
- Ensure you submit flawless petitions and are not denied due to mistakes, unfamiliarity with the applicable law and regulations, or missed deadlines
- Advocate on your behalf to DOL or USCIS if something goes wrong
- Help you obtain an EB-3 Visa as fast as possible
At our Atlanta-based law firm, we have extensive experience representing and advising companies on employment based immigration, including EB-3 visas, as well as non-immigrant visas. The experienced Atlanta-based EB-3 attorneys at Garvish Immigration Law Group are here to assist you through the entire process.