EB-3 Green Card

EB-3 Green Card

The EB-3 Green Card is an employment-based permanent residency category. The third preference category is specified for skilled, professional, or “other” workers. “Professionals” refers to those who hold a bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent.

“Skilled” is translated as those who are experienced in working in a distinct occupation that requires at least two years of training. The EB-3 Green Card is less rigid in qualifying requirements, but there are more eligible applicants compared to EB-1 and EB-2 categories.

Eligibility Criteria




Skilled Workers
  • You must have at least 2 years of job experience or training
  • You must be performing work for which qualified US workers are not available
Labor certification and a full-time, permanent job offer is required.
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you have a U.S. baccalaureate degree or its foreign degree equivalent and that a baccalaureate degree is a normal requirement for entry into the occupation.
  • You must be performing work for which qualified US workers are not available.
  • Education and experience may not be substituted for a baccalaureate degree.
Labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer required.
Unskilled Workers (Other Workers) You must be capable, at the time the petition is filed on your behalf, of performing unskilled labor (requiring less than 2 years training or experience), that is not of a temporary or seasonal nature, for which qualified workers are not available in the United States. Labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer required.


EB-3 Green Card-Skilled Workers:

If the job is long-term (not seasonal or temporary), the position must require:

  • At least two years of Work Experience
  • An Undergraduate Degree
  • Evidence of Vocational Training

Skilled Worker Required Documentation:

  • PERM Labor Certification
  • Proof of education completion
  • Any additional documentation relating to the PERM Labor Certification
  • Confirmation of permanent job offer from U.S. employer
  • Petition for Immigrant Worker (Form I-140)

EB-3 Green Card-Professional Workers:

The eligible professional petitioners are typically those who did not have the extensive qualifications for the EB-2 visa but still hold a valuable skill and certified education. All qualified professionals must hold:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or Foreign Equivalent
  • The position is obligated to require a bachelor’s degree
  • Work experience and education cannot take place of degree

Professional Required Documentation:

  • PERM Labor Certification
  • Proof of bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent
  • Requirements of position (bachelor’s degree is mandatory)
  • Confirmation of permanent job offer from U.S. employer
  • Petition for Immigrant Worker (Form I-140)

EB-3 Green Card – “Other” Workers:

The qualifications for the “Other” Workers category are not as extensive as professionals or skilled. This provides the opportunity to a wider range of applicants, though, only 10,000 green cards are issued a year.

The applicant should expect to wait a couple of years before receiving the EB-3 Green Card. The PERM Labor Certification may also be difficult to obtain under the “Other” Workers category and requires detailed documentation from the U.S. employer.

Eligible “Other” Workers must have:

  • Position that requires work experience or education
    • This position must be certified that it cannot be filled by a U.S. worker.
    • The position cannot be temporary or seasonal

“Other” Workers Required Documentation:

  • PERM Labor Certification
  • Evidence of education, work experience, or apprenticeship.
  • Proof of U.S. permanent employment offer
  • All related documents to the PERM Labor Certification
  • Petition for Immigrant Worker (Form I-140)

How to Get an EB-3 Green Card

Once you have all your documentation together, you will need to find an employer who is willing to sponsor you for the green card process. That employer must then go through an extensive recruitment process and determine the prevailing wage for your position in the geographical area that you will be working in order to obtain the PERM Labor Certification from the Department of Labor.

Next, your employer will need to file an I-140 petition with the USCIS. Once the petition is received, that date will mark your priority date. You will need to wait and watch the monthly visa bulletin released by the Department of State to see if your priority is “current”, meaning that it matches or passes the final action dates given in the most recent bulletin.

It is important to note that, as of the writing of this article, while of the final action dates for the EB-3 green card are backlogged only a few months, others are backlogged several years. If you are from China or India, be prepared to wait a considerable amount of time before your priority date is current.

As soon as your date is current, you can file your I-485 petition to adjust your status if you are already in the U.S. Your status will automatically switch to legal permanent resident as soon as your I-485 is approved.

If you are currently outside the U.S., you will need to go through consular processing instead. This involves going to the U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country and participating in a one-on-one interview with a consular officer. You will also need to complete the DS-290 online immigrant visa application.

How Long Will My EB-3 Take to Process?

With each step discussed above in mind, we can make an estimate on what the processing time will be. However, there are a number of factors that can drastically change the amount of time your EB-3 green card will take.

  • The PERM Labor Certification process will take about 8 months without complications. If your employer is audited or subjected to supervised recruitment, this time could potentially increase to two years.
  • The I-140 takes an average of 6 months depending on the caseload of the Service Center that is processing the petition. This step can be expedited to 15 calendar days using premium processing.
  • Waiting for your priority date can take anywhere from two months to over a decade depending on what your country of origin is.
  • The I-485 may take an average of 6 months to process as well. This step cannot be expedited by premium processing.

So the total EB-3 processing time can be between 14 months in the best case scenario and up to 15 years in the worst case. Work with your EB-3 green card attorney to determine what you will be able to expect from your processing time.

If your priority date wait time is too long, you may consider porting your EB-3 to EB-2 status. This is not an easy process and should only be attempted with the help of an EB-3 attorney.

How Our EB-3 Lawyers Can Help:

  • Our EB-3 Green Card lawyers have successfully completed EB-3 Green Card cases for professionals in a wide range of industries including IT, healthcare, retail, hospitality, finance etc.
  • Our immigration lawyers assist with mandatory documentation and qualifications under the EB-3 and offer extensive immigration consultations
  • Our EB-3 Green Card Lawyers are experienced in completing EB-3 requirements by crucial deadlines resulting from the quick movement in priority dates.