Every year, thousands of newcomers immigrate to the United States in an employment-related capacity. With the right combination of education, career skills, and experience, some of them may eventually become eligible for permanent residency and, later, U.S. citizenship.
The EB-3 (skilled worker) is one visa that can lead to a green card. This visa preference category is meant for prospective workers who have a full-time job offer from a U.S. company. Every year, USCIS makes approximately 40,000 of these visas available, and qualifying for one can be challenging, especially since there are country-based quotas.
One way to gain an advantage is to make sure that you qualify and that the application submitted by your prospective employer is as complete as possible. This blog explains the requirements for an EB-3 visa and how a Los Angeles immigration lawyer can improve your chances of a successful application.
Who is the EB-3 Visa Meant For?
EB-3 visas are designed for certain skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers coming to the United States as part of employment-based immigration. Workers who currently qualify for the EB-3 visa include:
- Skilled workers: The term “skilled worker” refers to someone with at least two years of experience or training in their field. The work they perform must require at least two years of experience or training. In some cases, relevant post-secondary education may be considered as training. Examples include computer scientists, graphic designers, journalists, and supervisors.
- Professionals: Professionals are those with at least a U.S. baccalaureate degree or an equivalent foreign degree who are engaged in work that requires such a degree. Architects, engineers, lawyers, and teachers are all examples of qualifying professions. It is important to note that education and experience may not be substituted for a baccalaureate degree.
- Unskilled Workers: Unskilled workers perform tasks that require less than two years of experience. The work must not be temporary or seasonal in nature. Those in this category, who are also known as “other workers, ” include caretakers, housekeepers, nannies, and janitors.
What Are The Requirements for Receiving an EB-3 Visa?
To be eligible for an EB-3 visa, a foreign worker must have a job offer from a U.S. employer who is willing to sponsor them for the visa. The employer must also demonstrate that there are no qualified U.S. workers available to fill the position- this step is covered by going through the PERM certification process and obtaining an approved Application for Permanent Labor Certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
The employer must also:
- Complete and sign Form I-140- Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
- Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation
- Offer for the position at least the average amount paid to a U.S. worker to do the same work (the “prevailing wage”)
- Demonstrate an ability to pay the offered wage as of the worker’s visa priority date
- Pay all necessary fees, including attorney fees (if any) for the Application for Alien Employment Certification. Who pays the remaining fees is a matter of negotiation between the potential immigrant and employer.
EB-3 visas account for 28.6% of the total green cards available for foreign workers. The number of visas available each year is therefore approximately 40,000. In addition, no more than 7% of the total EB-3 visas can be granted to nationals of any one country. Consequently, visa applications often outnumber slots, creating a backlog that lasts for months or even years (or, for the unfortunate natives of India, many, many years).
Can Family Members Accompany EB-3 Workers to the United States?
Yes. If an I-140 petition is approved by USCIS, the worker’s spouse and certain unmarried children under 21 may also be eligible for admission. However, determining whether children may qualify may be a complex undertaking impossible to precisely determine under many circumstances. The spouse may apply for an E34 if the recipient is a skilled worker or professional, or an EW4 if they are an ‘other worker.’ Similarly, any minor children can apply for admission under the E35 or EW5 category.
How Can a Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer Help With an EB-3 Visa Application?
U.S. immigration law is not only stringent, it also changes frequently. When you work with a Los Angeles immigration lawyer for an EB-3 application, you can benefit from the following advantages:
- Eligibility Assessment: An immigration lawyer can help you determine if you are eligible for an EB-3 visa based on your education, work experience, and other qualifications.
- Documentation: Your lawyer can help you gather and organize the necessary documentation to support your EB-3 visa application, such as proof of education and work experience. They can also assist you with completing the required forms and preparing a strong application package to maximize your chances of success.
- Labor Certification: The attorney can help your prospective employer navigate the labor certification process, which involves getting approval from the Department of Labor.
- Communicating With USCIS: An immigration lawyer can communicate with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf and keep you informed of any updates or changes to your application status.
Overall, a Los Angeles immigration lawyer can help streamline the EB-3 visa application process and provide valuable guidance from the moment you apply until you arrive in the United States. They can also help you with eventually becoming a U.S. citizen if that is your goal. The key is to work with a top-rated immigration law firm with a history of success for its clients.
Questions About Applying for an EB-3 Visa? Speak to an Immigration Lawyer Today!
It may take one to several years for an EB-3 petition to be processed, depending on the nationality of the beneficiary and the nature of the petition. The USCIS also rigorously scrutinizes these petitions like all other employment-based immigrant applications. EB-3 visas, therefore, have highly complex requirements that require the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer.
At the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C., we are passionate about helping newcomers travel to the United States and make valuable contributions to their new home. We can help you and your employer prepare an immigration petition, obtain DOL certification, and appeal a denial if necessary. We can assist you with your citizenship goals when the time comes. To learn why so many newcomers have trusted us with their immigration cases, please call (213) 375-4084 or contact us online.