The EB-3 Green Card is a permanent residence category based on work. Workers that are competent, professional, or “other” fall into the third preferred group. Those with a bachelor’s degree or its international equivalent are referred to as “professionals.”

“Skilled” is defined as someone who has worked in a certain occupation that needs at least two years of training. In comparison to the EB-1 and EB-2 categories, the EB-3 Green Card has less stringent qualifying conditions, but there are more qualified candidate

The following table lists the employment-based subcategories and the types of jobs that fall under them:


Jobs included

Priority workers (EB-1)

  • Positions in the arts, sciences, education, business, and athletics that require extraordinary* ability
  • Outstanding professors and researchers
  • Multinational managers and executives

Professionals with advanced degrees and exceptional abilities (EB-2)

  • Positions requiring at least a master’s degree
  • Positions requiring at least a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree, plus at least five years’ relevant experience
  • Positions in the sciences, arts, or business requiring exceptional* ability
  • Positions of national interest

Physicians (EB-2 with a special waiver)

  • Physicians who agree to work full-time in underserved areas for a specific period and meet other eligibility criteria

Skilled, unskilled, and professional workers (EB-3)

  • Skilled positions that require a minimum of two years’ training or experience that is not temporary or seasonal
  • Unskilled positions that require less than two years’ training or experience that is not temporary or seasonal
  • Professional positions that require at least a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree from a U.S. university or college or the equivalent of this degree from a non-U.S. school

Special workers (EB-4)

  • Media professionals
  • Religious workers and ministers
  • Afghanistan and Iraq nationals who have served the U.S. government under certain capacities
  • Certain other employees, retirees, and their family members

Investors (EB-5)

  • Non-U.S. nationals who have invested or are investing at least $1 million (or $500,000 in a high-unemployment or rural area) in a new U.S. business that will create full-time positions for at least 10 workers
EB-3 Visa Requirements & Qualification

The EB-3 visa requirements sets a lower standard than other green cards, such as the EB-2, and so is scrutinized less closely. So, there are higher chances to qualify for an EB-3 visa. However there is often a waiting list for approval. 

Most EB-3 visa applications cannot be adjusted from temporary (non-immigrant) visas until the petitioner’s priority date becomes current. This date is set when the Labor Certification Process is started (see below).

The employer must:

  • file form I-140 with USCIS;
  • establish that they can afford the offered position upon granting of the Green Card;
  • prove that the beneficiary meets the necessary requirements.

The three routes to EB-3 visa qualification are:

  1. Skilled Worker: The position demands at least 2 years’ relevant employment experience or training. In addition, a Labor Certification Process is required to demonstrate that no qualified workers are already available in the U.S. to fill the position.
  2. Professionals: The professional position in question requires a baccalaureate degree (or foreign equivalent).
  3. Unskilled/“Other” Workers: The third option covers jobs that can be performed with less than two years’ training. (However, temporary or seasonal jobs are excluded.)

Individuals who have an approved form I-140 may also be able to downgrade from an EB-2 to an EB-3.

Labor Certification Process

Each EB-3 visa petition requires that the PERM Labor Certification process be followed.

PERM is where the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requires that the prospective employer test the market to establish that there are no willing or qualified workers already legally in the United States who can fill the position.

This process also requires a Prevailing Wage Determination which typically involves:

  • Posting with the relevant State Workforce Agency;
  • Posting an advertisement in a major newspaper on consecutive Sundays;
  • Posting the job ad in a conspicuous place at the worksite and on the company’s intranet/website;
  • Plus, three other recruitment processesas set out in the regulations.
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