The EB-3 green card is an employment-based immigrant visa category for foreign nationals who seek both employment opportunity and permanent resident status in the U.S. One of the major steps along the road to getting this green card is to go through an EB-3 interview with a consular officer. This post will highlight what you need to know before going in for your interview.
This preference level has three subcategories: skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers.
EB-3 Skilled Workers
To qualify as an EB-3 skilled worker, the following requirements must be met:
- You must be able to demonstrate a minimum of two years of experience or training.
- There must be no interested U.S. workers who are qualified for the job which you are being sponsored for.
- The job offer must be full-time and not temporary or seasonal.
To be eligible for this EB-3 category, you must fulfill the following:
- You must have a U.S. bachelor’s degree or any other equivalent degree from a foreign school. The degree must be in the field of the occupation you are applying for.
- There must be no qualified U.S. workers who are available for and interested in the job.
EB-3 Unskilled Workers
An unskilled worker EB-3 applicant must be able to perform unskilled labor which:
- Can require less than two years of training and experience
- Has no available and interested U.S. workers who are qualified for the job
- The job offer must not be temporary or seasonal.
Applying for EB-3 Green Card
The EB-3 permanent workers application involves both the employee (you) and your employer ( the sponsor). Your employer who is the petitioner will need to:
- File an I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.
- Present tax return, annual report, or financial statement to prove the ability to pay your wage.
- Obtain a PERM Labor Certification
Once this is done, and your petition is submitted to the USCIS, you will need to wait until your priority date becomes current. A priority date is the day that the USCIS received your petition. It essentially holds your place in the visa line to get your green card. The moment it reads “current”, you will be able to file an I-485, Application for Adjustment of Status or go through consular processing if you are not currently in the U.S. under a nonimmigrant visa status.
EB-3 Interview Notice from the USCIS
After filing your I-485, your application will be sent to the National Benefits Center (NBC). The NBC will review your application and the evidence you provided, and conduct security and background check to be sure of your eligibility for the EB-3 category you applied for.
It is very important that you submit all initial evidence because if there is any missing evidence, you are likely going to get a Request for Evidence (RFE) from the NBC. An RFE automatically puts your application on hold until the requested proof is provided. After your application has been reviewed, you will get a notice from USCIS about the time, date and location where you must appear for your interview.
The wait time for an interview varies among different applicants. Due to the workload at USCIS field offices, your interview may take several months after filing I-485. Providing all the requested documents in your application will help in optimizing your EB-3 green card processing time.
Preparing for EB-3 Green Card Interview
Once you have received the interview notice, you need to prepare and get all the necessary documents. The documents required for your interview vary depending on your EB-3 subcategory (for example, the documents required for a skilled worker will be different than those required for an EB-3 professional). However, some of the documents you will need to take along regardless of your subcategory include:
- A valid passport
- Your I-94 record
- Original birth certificate
- Government-issued identification (e.g. driver’s license)
- Letter from your employer confirming your employment (job offer)
- Academic qualification documents (transcripts, certificate, etc.)
- Documents showing tax payments
- Any other document you might need to support evidence given in your application.
EB-3 Interview Outside the U.S.
If you are outside the U.S., your interview will be conducted at the U.S. consulate in the country. As part of your application process, you will need to file and submit a DS-260 application. You will print the confirmation page and the receipt of your DS-260 and take them along when going for your interview.
Will My Spouse and Children Be Interviewed?
If you file your adjustment application together with your family members, they will likely also be interviewed, particularly your spouse and possibly any children who are under the age of 21. However, you may get a waiver for your children who are younger than 14 years old. The USCIS may decide to hold a group interview for your family in the same location and at the same time.
However, the decision to have a group interview is within the discretion of the immigration officer. The officer may choose to hold a separate interview for each member of your family. It is, therefore, very important that you all prepare to answer questions. Also, if any of your family members experience a delay during the process due to RFE or any other reason, the person may be given another date for his or her interview.
What Types of Interview Questions Should I Expect?
USCIS interviews are conducted essentially to establish the authenticity of the information you have already filed in your application. The immigration officers will want to know if you are who you claim to be.
Your eligibility for an EB-3 and your qualification for the job category you filled in your application will also be part of the interview questions. So, during the interview, be ready to answer questions related to:
- The name of the organization that is employing you
- Your past experience and the organizations you have worked for in the past
- Your educational background and academic qualifications, training, etc.
- Your biographic information
- Your admissibility. This includes previous criminal records – if you have been arrested or convicted by any court of law in the past either in the U.S. or somewhere else. You may also receive questions about any immigration violations in the past.
- Your current resident status
- Any questions related to the information given in your I-485.
The USCIS officer interviewing you is not only interested in the answers you give, but also keen on how you answer those questions. Your responses will be verified to help establish the validity of the evidence presented in the application you earlier submitted.
The officer may send your I-140 to the USCIS service center to be revoked if you are found to have given contradictory information during your interview. This is why you need to review the information you have submitted in your I-140 and I-485 before going for the interview and ensure your answers are in line with them.
You are also allowed to have your immigration lawyer with you at the interview if you so wish. In fact, the interview questions might not be as straightforward as you think. Therefore, it may be very helpful if you are accompanied by your attorney.
Reviewing Your EB-3 Application With Your Attorney
If you choose to go with a lawyer, it is imperative that you both review your case in detail before going. You will need to give him or her details of any new development about your current job and resident status since you began the application process. Let your attorney know if there has been any change in your job position, location, duties and responsibility, promotion, termination, demotion, increase or reduction in your salary, etc. Also, any changes from part-time to full-time (or vice versa).
What Types of Questions Should My Dependent Family Members Expect?
Your spouse and children are going to be asked questions related to their relationship to you, and they may also be asked about their knowledge of the EB-3 job you are applying for. Your spouse may be asked further about your work experience, educational background, and past criminal records if any. Questions about your marriage history will also likely be asked to be sure if your marriage is bona fide.
Your dependent family members may need to provide proofs to back their answers to the interview questions. Ensure they attend the interview with documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificate, adoption or custody documentation, evidence showing joint family finance and assets (e.g., bank accounts, taxes, properties).
EB-3 Green Card Denial After Interview
Since the start of interviews for EB-3 green card applicants in 2017, there has been an increase in the number of denials by the USCIS. Lack of enough evidence, eligibility, and admissibility issues are some of the major reasons that cause green card denials. If you have received an employment-based visa adjustment denial, that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your application.
The USCIS typically allows applicants to file a motion or appeal if they think they stand the chance of having the decision rescinded. A motion means you want the decision to be reviewed by the same USCIS office which issued it, while an appeal is to request for a third party to review the decision. It is recommended that you file an appeal within 30 days from the date you receive the decision.
There is no guarantee that the decision will be overturned by the USCIS through either a motion or an appeal. This is why you need to ensure you are very thorough right from the beginning of your application, and during the interviews. Do your best to avoid anything that could lead to denial.
How Our Immigration Attorneys Can Help
EB-3 interview questions can be complex at times. Any misrepresentation of facts can lead to a green card denial by USCIS officers. To avoid costly mistakes in your visa application, you will benefit greatly from the service of an immigration lawyer to help you file your forms and supporting documents as required by immigration laws.
At Immi-USA, we have experienced immigration attorneys who have helped many of our clients file their EB-3 application and have successful interviews. If you are about to file for an EB-3 immigrant visa or you are preparing for your EB-3 interview, you can book an appointment with one of our immigration lawyers by simply filling out this contact form.