Immigration visas

EB-3 Visa

Visas EB-3Employment-Based Immigration: Third Preference EB-3

You may be eligible for an immigrant employment-based visa preference category if you are a skilled worker, professional, or other worker. This classification allows persons who are skilled workers, professionals with bachelor's degrees, and unskilled workers to immigrate permanently to the United States with the intent of working in a permanent position for a U.S. employer.

Categories of Workers

A “skilled worker” is person whose job requires a minimum of two years training or work experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature.

A “professional” is a person whose job requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate degree, or a foreign equivalent, and is a member of the professions.

“Other workers” are persons performing unskilled labor requiring less than two years training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature.


Skilled workers must be able to demonstrate at least two years of job experience or training. You must be performing work for which qualified workers are not available in the United States. Skilled workers must have a labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer.

Professionals must be able to demonstrate the possession of a U.S. baccalaureate degree or foreign degree equivalent. Professionals must be performing work for which qualified workers are not available in the United States. Lesser education plus experience may not be substituted for a baccalaureate degree.

Unskilled workers (other workers) must be capable, at the time the petition is filed on their behalf, of performing unskilled labor that is not of a temporary or seasonal nature, for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.

While eligibility requirements for the third preference classification are less stringent, a long backlog exists for visas in the "other workers" category.

U.S. Department of Labor – Labor Certification

Third preference petitions must generally be accompanied by an approved, individual labor certification from the Department of Labor on Form ETA-9089.

Application Process

The employer (petitioner) must file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. The employer must be able to demonstrate an ability to pay the offered wage as of the visa priority date. The employer may use an annual report, federal income tax return, or audited financial statement to demonstrate ability to pay your wage.


Spouses may be admitted to the United States as E-34 (spouse of a “skilled worker” or “professional”) or EW-4 (spouse of an “other worker”). During the application process for permanent resident status (Green Card), a spouse is eligible to file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Minor children (under the age of 21) may be admitted as E-35 (child of a “skilled worker” or “professional”) or EW-5 (child of an “other worker”).

Due to the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21), an individual whose application for adjustment of status, Form I-485, has been filed and has remained unadjudicated for 180 days or more may change employers, if the new job is in the same or similar occupational classification as the job for which the petition was filed.

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