If you want to live and work permanently in the United States, you may qualify for a visa based on your education or work history. EB-3 visas are available for baccalaureate professionals, skilled workers and even unskilled workers when qualified workers are not available in the U.S.

To qualify for an EB-3 visa, you will need a permanent, full-time job offer. These are immigrant visas, meaning that you can later apply for lawful permanent resident status (a green card). If you receive an EB-3 visa, your spouse and any children under 21 can join you in the U.S. and your spouse can work during the green card application process.

Let’s look at the specific qualifications for EB-3 visas:

The EB-3 (a) is for skilled workers. To qualify, you must demonstrate that you have at least two years of job experience or training.

You need a permanent, full-time job offer and your employer must file an approved labor certification (Form ETA-9089) along with Form I-140, “Petition for Alien Worker.” The labor certification is meant to show that qualified workers are not available in the U.S. Your employer must also demonstrate an ability to pay the offered wage as of your visa priority date.

The EB-3 (b) is for professionals with bachelor’s degrees or their foreign equivalent. Education and experience cannot be substituted for the degree, and the degree must be a normal requirement for entry into the occupation.

The requirements for a full-time, permanent job offer, labor certification and demonstration of your employer’s ability to pay are all the same as for the EB-3 (a).

The EB-3 (c) is a visa for unskilled workers in positions where qualified U.S. workers are not available. To qualify, you need to show that you are capable of performing unskilled labor (labor requiring less than two years’ experience or training) that is not temporary or seasonal in nature.

Again, you need a permanent, full-time job offer from an employer who will file an approved labor certification with Form I-140, and who can demonstrate an ability to pay your offered wage.

EB-3 visas are preference-based, meaning that visas of higher preference will be awarded first. Currently, the U.S. only offers 140,000 job-based immigrant visas each year, and that number includes any spouses and children who accompany the main visa holder. EB-3 visas will only be awarded if there are fewer than 140,000 EB-1 and EB-2 visas approved.

Contact the Yew Immigration Law Group to benefit from our years of experience helping people immigrate to the United States based on employment. We can determine which visa meets your needs and help to streamline the process.