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Skilled Workers and Professionals - The EB-3 Visa

This will be the final part in the survey of the EB visas, as we have already covered the EB-5 visa and the EB-4 visa is too specific to talk about generally. Should you have questions about these or any visa, contact our office so we may assist you.

The EB-3 visa is less stringent in its requirements, but the backlog is much higher than the EB-1 or EB-2 categories. Currently, applications from 2008 are being processed for many counties and are much longer for certain others - 2003 for immigrants from India and 2006 for immigrants from the Philippines.

The EB-3 visa is intended for three distinct categories: "skilled workers," "professionals," or "other workers." The requirements are that the EB-3 visa beneficiary must find a sponsoring employer. Each applicant, regardless of whether they are "skilled workers," "professionals," or "other workers," must go through the Labor Certification process, have a job offer for a permanent, full-time position, and demonstrate that they will perform work for which qualified workers are not available in the United States. Through this process, the employer must prove the unavailability of qualified U.S. workers and that U.S. worker's wages and working conditions will not be negatively affected. Sometimes, precertification of the petitioned position may be pre-certified under Schedule A of the Department of Labor.

For skilled workers in particular, they must demonstrate at least two years of job experience or training. The Labor Certification form, ETA 9089, has instructions on how to determine whether a job is skilled or unskilled.

Professionals in particular must possess a U.S. bachelor's degree or a foreign degree equivalent AND must demonstrate that the bachelor's degree is the normal requirement for entry into the occupation. Education and experience unfortunately cannot replace the requirement for a bachelor's degree.

For the "other workers" category, the beneficiary must prove that, at the time of filing the petition by the sponsoring employer, he or she is capable of performing unskilled labor and that the work is not seasonal or temporary and cannot be done by qualified workers in the United States due to lack of availability. Unskilled labor of defined as requiring less than 2 years of training or experience.

The EB-3 visa is not the most ideal given the backlog and the required labor certification process. But it may be useful for those who are not in a rush to receive their green card and/or have trouble meeting the other EB visa requirements. Contact our office if you have any questions related to the EB-3 visa or any other immigration issues.

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