Employment-Based Third Preference (EB-3)

Professionals and Skilled and Unskilled Workers

The EB-3 category is underappreciated and highly useful for employers seeking to fill positions of ANY type or skill level. Many people are led to believe that visas and green cards are only available for high-skilled or specialty workers. However, the truth is that the EB-3 category allows employers to sponsor foreign nationals for green cards for any position they have a need to fill.


This can include positions in the healthcare field such as caregivers, Certified Nursing Assistants, or any other position. Further, employers have used the EB-3 category to fill all types of positions such as restaurant workers, construction positions, accountants, sales representatives, maintenance or landscaping positions, managers, customer service representatives, and many, many more.


There is also no minimum educational requirement or skill or experience requirement for the EB-3 category as all that is required is that the employee have whatever education or experience is required by the employer for the position offered.

Sponsorship Process

An employer who wishes to sponsor a foreign national for a green card through the EB-3 category must follow several steps and it is generally highly advisable to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to assist with this process.


The first step is to file an application with the U.S. Department of Labor. This is known as the PERM program or an application for labor certification. Once this is complete and the Department of Labor has certified the application, the employer files a petition (I-140) with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.


After this petition is approved, and once a visa is available, the foreign national either applies at an Embassy abroad for an immigrant visa or files an application for adjustment of status from within the United States if they are already here and qualified.

How long this process will take depends largely on where the foreign national was born as immigrant visas are given out on a per country basis and some countries have more demand, and thus a longer waiting period.


As noted above, this EB-3 category is applicable to pretty much any possible person and any possible position as long as all rules and regulatory requirements are properly followed and documented. There is no position excluded and no requirement that the foreign national have any certain educational background or certain number of years of experience.


However, within the EB-3 category, there are sub-categories and the details of those categories are discussed below. As a practical matter, it does not really matter which sub-category you fall within as they all lead to permanent resident status and have the same process with few exceptions

Defining Professionals, Skilled, and Unskilled Workers

There are three general categories in the employment-based 3rd preference category:

Professionals. Possessing a “U.S. baccalaureate degree” or foreign equivalent will determine whether or not you are a “professional” as rated by the immigration system. The requirement of performing work in the U.S. for which there are not enough U.S. qualified workers is also present here.

Skilled workers. A skilled worker coming to the United States should be able to demonstrate at least two years of work experience. This might seem heavy, but compared to the ten years of experience as one criteria of the 2nd preference visa, this requirement is relatively low and makes it possible for relatively inexperienced workers to potentially come to the U.S. for employment-based immigration. Please also note that even skilled workers should be performing work for which there are not qualified workers available in the U.S.

Unskilled workers. Although you will not be required to have two years of experience in your line of work - hence “unskilled” - there will still be the requirement of an unavailability of qualified workers for this type of work in the United States. For that reason, lower unemployment in the United States tends to mean there are fewer workers available for jobs, paving the way for some workers from abroad to fill in any potential gaps that companies have.

With these definitions in place, you should have a general idea of whether you potentially qualify for an employment-based visa in the 3rd preference category. In short, yes you can as long as there is employer willing to sponsor you and the process is properly completed.

Criteria and Requirements for Professionals, Skilled, and Unskilled Workers

What requirements are present here? It’s not only about your individual ability or classification, but about the context in which you apply for admittance to the United States. If it sounds too complicated, here’s what you’ll need to know:


For Skilled Workers, the employer with whom you will work will need the proper labor certification. There should also be a full-time work offer in place for the employee (in this case, you) to begin work once legal admittance to the United States has taken place.


For Professionals, the same requirements apply. Not only should a full-time work offer be in place for the employee, but the employer should be certified to hire labor from abroad.


For Unskilled workers, the same requirements apply as above. It’s also worth repeating that the work in the job offer not be of a temporary or seasonal nature, as that would then steer the employee in the direction of another type of visa. To ensure the proper handling of an application, it’s vital to make sure you’re applying with the right paperwork from the beginning.

Reeves Immigration Law Group – Full Service Immigration Law Firm

The most important thing to know about the EB-3 category is that if all rules are properly followed almost any person or company can benefit from this category. If you or a loved one thinks the EB-3 category might be a good fit for you or your company, contact Reeves Immigration Law Group today so we can walk you through the process and ensure you meet your U.S. immigration goals.

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