EB-3 Visa: Complete Lawyer Guide

There are many different ways that foreign workers can come to the U.S. on permanent or semi-permanent bases. The EB-3 visa can be perfect for some, depending on their work experience and education. This visa provides the ability to become a U.S. permanent resident and is considered an immigration visa. On this page, you will learn all about the EB-3 visa, the requirements, the application process, how to deal with rejections, and how to gain U.S. citizenship. Our team helped numerous foreign workers secure EB-3 visas. Our goal is to make the entire process easy and simple for you. Schedule a consultation and learn more about how your business can hire foreign workers.

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What is EB-3 Visa, and Who is It For?

The EB-3 Green Card is an employment-based permanent residency category. It is a third preference category for employment visas and is specifically for skilled, professional, or “unskilled” workers. With an EB-3 visa, you can work and live in the U.S. on a permanent basis.

  • 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.
  • Unskilled” subcategory is generally for individuals that have less than 2 years of work experience or vocational 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. This visa is generally more suitable for foreign workers that have a permanent job offer in the U.S. while also meeting the work experience and educational requirements.

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Our Experience with EB-3 Visas

Our lawyers have extensive experience with obtaining EB-3 visas for foreign workers. We pride ourselves on outstanding service and exceptional client care. This is what our leading business immigration lawyer Shilpa Malik said about our EB-3 services:

Assisting a client in obtaining an EB-3 visa is an incredible privilege. Witnessing the transformation from dreams and aspirations to tangible opportunities is a remarkable experience for our firm. Guiding individuals through the intricate maze of immigration laws and regulations, we pave the way for a brighter future, uniting families and opening doors to new horizons!

Our recent EB-3 Success Story involved an Application Software Developer who was having trouble proving that he met the requirements for an EB-3. The case was ultimately approved after responding to an RFE, proving that VisaNation Law Group rises to meet challenges and provides dedicated professional help even in difficult immigration situations.

Why You Need an EB-3 Visa Lawyer 

There an endless reasons why it’s beneficial to hire a qualified immigration law firm to handle your sensitive EB-3 visa case in 2023. With immigration backlogs still a very real consideration, even minor mistakes on your application can end up costing you valuable time and avoidable fees. With an experienced lawyer by your side, you’ll be able to prevent frivolous mistakes and save time and money in the process.

It is crucial to find an immigration lawyer who specializes in the employment-based area of law and has a proven track record of success in handling similar cases. Also:

  • Review the lawyer’s credentials, including their education, professional memberships, and certifications. C
  • Communication is also key, as you want to work with a lawyer who is responsive and keeps you informed about the progress of your case.
  • Consider the lawyer’s billing structure and ensure that it is transparent and that you fully understand the costs involved.
  • Look for a lawyer who takes a personalized approach and the time to understand your unique situation and goals in order to provide the best possible representation.

EB-3 Visa Lawyers

EB-3 Visa Requirements

EB-3 visa caters to several groups, which are split into three categories: skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers. Although the requirements of all three may look the same at first glance, they vary dramatically. Below you can find a table that summarizes EB-3 visa requirements as well as a detailed explanation for each category.




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 EB-3 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 EB-3 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 EB-3 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 EB-3 job offer from U.S. employer
  • Petition for Immigrant Worker (Form I-140)

EB-3 visas require extensive documentation that must be filed properly in order to receive a favorable result. Our lawyers have extensive experience with securing EB-3 visas for foreign workers that have job offers with U.S.-based companies. Schedule a consultation and let us take care of your employment immigration needs.

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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 valuable skills 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 a 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 EB-3 job offer from U.S. employer
  • Petition for Immigrant Worker (Form I-140)

EB-3 visa lawyers graphic 2

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)

EB-3 Green Card Steps

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.

  1. 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.

EB-3 Visa Application Process Steps 2023

2. 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, most 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. Keep in mind that the dates for the “other workers” group vary slightly from the dates for the other two groups.

3. 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.

4. Your status will automatically switch to legal permanent resident as soon as your I-485 is approved.

What About The EB-3 Interview?

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-260 online immigrant visa application.

You should print out both the confirmation page for your DS-260 and the receipt for your payment and bring those to your interview along with:

  • Your passport
  • Your ID
  • Two passport-style photos
  • Your I-797 Notice of Approval from the USCIS
  • Your appointment notification letter
  • Any supporting documents for your green card.

How Long Is The EB-3 Processing Time?

With each step discussed above in mind, we can make an estimate of what the EB-3 processing time will be. However, there are several 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.
  • 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.

If six months is too long a time to wait for your I-140 to be processed, you can pay the extra fee to use premium processing, an optional service that shortens your petition’s processing time to 15 calendar days.

EB-3 processing time can be significantly delayed if there are inconsistencies or errors in the application. Our top priority is to always get the result as fast as we can for our clients. Schedule a consultation and start hiring foreign workers now.

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 Much Are the EB-3 Fees?

The EB-3 has a few fees to take into account before applying:

  • The I-140 basic filing fee is $700.
  • The I-485 filing fee is $1,140.
  • If you are using premium processing with your I-140, the fee is $2,500.
  • Attorney fees vary from firm to firm, you can see our flat charge for EB-3 green cards on our fees page.
  • If you are going through consular processing, you will need to factor in the fee for the DS-260, which is $325 plus a $120 sponsorship fee. You will also need to consider the cost of travel as well.

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Can I Get a Refund?

The USCIS is, unfortunately, not in the business of giving out EB-3 fee refunds. However, there are three main circumstances where you can expect one:

  1. The USCIS has asked you for a form that was unnecessary for your EB-3 and that form required payment.
  2. The USCIS requested a fee that was greater than the amount listed on their fee schedule.
  3. The USCIS failed to process a premium processing petition in the allotted 15 calendar days and will refund the premium processing fee.

EB-3 Green Card Renewal

One of the biggest advantages to getting a green card is the fact that it has a long validity period. When issued, your EB-3 will be valid for 10 years. Keep in mind that this is not like renewing a nonimmigrant visa, where you need to submit a new petition and essentially re-qualify for the visa.

For a green card, you simply need to file an I-90 request to have your green card renewed for a fee of $455 plus an $85 biometrics fee. This is also the process if your green card has been lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed and you need a replacement.

EB-3 to Citizenship

Now that you have your EB-3 immigrant visa, you might be satisfied with your immigration journey. However, there are some advantages to taking it to the final step and becoming a U.S. citizen:

  • You will be able to work as a federal government employee
  • You can sponsor your family members for green cards at a higher preference level
  • You can vote in primary elections
  • You no longer have to renew your immigration status
  • You cannot be deported from the U.S.

These are just some of the many benefits that come from making the transfer from EB-3 visa to citizenship. This is done through a process called naturalization, which requires you to file an N-400 form with the USCIS. Provided that you meet the requirements, which include living in the U.S. as a legal permanent resident for at least 5 years, you will be asked to come into a service center for an interview and an exam testing your knowledge of American government, history, and your grasp of the English language.

If you pass this test and the interview, you will need to swear an oath of allegiance to the United States before becoming an official U.S. citizen.

As an aside, while the N-400 may be $725 plus an $85 biometrics fee, which seems more expensive than the EB-3 green card renewal fee, you only need to pay this once as opposed to the green card renewal fee, which must be paid every decade.

EB-3 Visa Denial

Getting an EB-3 denial can be devastating to your immigration plans. Because of this, we aim to inform you about how you can avoid this problem before it starts.

There are a few main reasons why an EB-3 green card petition is denied or rejected:

  • There was inconsistent, incomplete, or inaccurate information on the petition
  • The filing fee was incorrectly submitted
  • You failed the background check
  • Your position did not satisfy the requirements for the EB-3 green card
  • Your employer did not satisfy the requirements for the EB-3 green card

For the first two items on the list, your petition will likely be rejected, which simply means that it was sent back due to a superficial issue. The best thing to do is to work with your immigration attorney to fix the mistake and to refile the petition.

For everything else, however, the situation may be more serious. A denial means that, after being thoroughly examined by an immigration officer, your petition was denied based on the merits of your case. Your options here are to either refile with more or different supporting evidence, appeal the decision through the Administrative Appeals Office, or to make a legal motion to reconsider or reopen your case.

What About an RFE?

Occasionally, rather than deliver an outright denial, the USCIS will send for a Request for Evidence (RFE). Think of this as a second chance instead of an obstacle. The USCIS is giving you the opportunity to submit additional documentation to support certain aspects of your case. There is a narrow window of time in which you need to respond to the RFE, so the best thing to do is to take it to your immigration attorney.

Alternatives to EB-3 Green Card

If you do not meet the qualifications for an EB-3 Green Card or apply for one and are denied, the good news is that you have other options.

  • EB-1 Visa: This visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, as well as outstanding professors or researchers, and multinational executives or managers.
  • EB-2 Visa: This visa is for individuals with an advanced degree (beyond a U.S. bachelor’s degree) or who have significant competence in art, business, or science. Must also be approved by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Foreign Labor Certification Process.
  • H-1B Visa: This visa is for skilled professionals with at least a bachelor’s degree in a field such as fields such as computer science, architecture, medicine, dentistry, engineering, accounting, etc. There are many benefits to having this type of visa including the fact that it’s dual intent, has a 3-year initial stay which can be extended, permits you to bring spouse/children and more.
  • L-1 Visa: This visa allows multinational companies to transfer executives, managers, and specialized knowledge employees to their US offices. This visa has two subcategories- the L-1A for managers and executives, and the L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge.
  • O-1 Visa: In order to qualify for the O-1 nonimmigrant visa, individuals must possess extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or they must have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and have been recognized either nationally or internationally.
  • TN Visa: This visa is for Canadian and Mexican citizens who are seeking temporary employment in the US under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

How VisaNation Law Group EB-3 Lawyers Can Help

Just like you would hire an expert for any other highly-specialized project, an immigration attorney plays an instrumental role in the process. To ensure that your petition is completed and filed properly, your fees are correct, and that any unforeseen issues are dealt with (such as an RFE), the best thing to do is to retain an attorney.

  • VisaNation Law Group 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.
  • VisaNation Law Group immigration lawyers assist with mandatory documentation and qualifications under the EB-3 and offer extensive immigration consultations
  • VisaNation Law Group EB-3 Green Card lawyers are experienced in completing EB-3 requirements by crucial deadlines resulting from the quick movement in priority dates.

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