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EB-3 Professionals, Skilled and Unskilled Workers

This third preference category for employment-based immigration is for skilled workers, professionals and other workers. Skilled workers are those whose jobs require at least two years training or work experience. Professionals are workers whose jobs require a baccalaureate degree.  Other workers are those who perform unskilled labor that requires less than 2 years’ training to experience.

To immigrate into the US under this preference category, there must be a US employer who will apply for a labor certification and file a Petition for Alien Worker on behalf of the worker.


What do skilled workers need to prove to obtain an immigrant visa under this category?

A skilled worker must show that they have 2 years’ work experience or two years’ training that is relevant to the job for which they have been engaged. Their US employer must obtain a labor certification on their behalf. Their US employer must offer them a full-time job. The work that they will be engaged to perform is one for which there are no qualified workers in the US.


What do professional workers need to prove to obtain an immigrant visa under this category?

Professional workers must show that they possess a four-year college degree (bachelor’s degree or baccalaureate degree) or a foreign equivalent.  The four-year college degree must be a requirement for entry into the professional occupation. For example, a bachelor’s degree in dental medicine is a five-year bachelor’s degree and it is required before a person can be licensed or certified as a dentist.

The professional worker must also show that the work they will be doing for the US employer is a kind of work where there are no qualified workers available in the US. For example, there is a shortage of professional or registered nurses.

It is important to note that in this category, education or experience cannot be substituted for a baccalaureate degree. For example, a person who finished a four-year bachelor’s degree in art history cannot apply for professional work in the US as an optometrist.

Professional workers also need their US employer to apply for and obtain a labor certification. The US employer must provide an offer of employment for a permanent and full-time position.


What do unskilled workers need to prove to obtain an immigrant visa under this category?

The unskilled worker must prove that they are able to perform unskilled labor.  The work that they will do is a type of job that does not require more than 2 years training or experience. The work for which they will be hired by the US employer is not temporary or seasonal, but it is a job that is permanent and full-time.  The US employer must apply for and obtain a labor certification on behalf of the unskilled worker.


Can the family of the professional, skilled or unskilled worker also join them in the US?

The Petition for Alien Worker may be filed by the US employer on behalf of the primary beneficiary (the professional, skilled or unskilled worker) but the names of the derivative beneficiaries may also be included in the petition. The derivative beneficiaries are the spouses, parents or unmarried children under the age of 21 of the professional, skilled or unskilled worker.


What are the benefits to the derivative beneficiaries?

The spouse of the professional, skilled and unskilled worker may also file an Employment Authorization document (EAD) so that they can work while in the US.


What happens when the Petition for Alien Worker has been approved?

The USCIS will forward the approved petition to the National Visa Center. At the National Visa Center, the petition will enter the queue and wait for an available immigrant visa to be issued. In the meantime, the immigrant will need to wait for a letter notifying him of the schedule of the immigrant interview and of the medical examination.


How long does the immigrant have to wait for the issuance of the visa?

There are limits to the number of immigrant visas that may be issued every year. For unskilled workers, only 10,000 visas are available. Those in the first and second preference categories may have a shorter waiting time than those in the third preference category.


What does the immigrant need to prove during the interview?

The immigrant must appear for the interview at the nearest consular office. The immigrant’s documents will be scrutinized for any inaccuracy. The immigrant will be questioned by the consular official to ensure that no immigration fraud has been committed and that the immigrants do not suffer from any grounds of inadmissibility.  When satisfied, the consular official will then issue the immigrant visa and the immigrant must pay the visa fee.


When the immigrant visa is issued, what will the immigrant and his family do?

The immigrant visa will be issued with a date of issuance and an expiration date. The expiration date on the immigrant visa is the date by which the immigrant must enter the United States. Before the visa expires, the immigrant and his family must present themselves at a US port of entry and present themselves for inspection and admission by the Customs and Border Protection Officer.


If you need help with filling up a Petition for Alien Worker or an Application for Labor Certification, you can ask assistance from any of our immigration lawyers at Lluis Law. If you need advice on whether or not the employee for whom you wish to file a Petition for Alien Worker is qualified under the Third Preference Category, then you can ask any of our experienced immigration lawyers who are always willing to assist you.