Learn about the EB3 visa process

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The EB3 is simply an employment-based third preference visa for unskilled, skilled, and professional foreign workers. Remember that EB3 visas grant full-time work for most unskilled jobs that need less than 2 years of training and experience. Workers can get permanent residency with the EB3 visa as long as they have an employer who is ready to sponsor them for the job and the visa application is approved. 

You should note that at least 10,000 visas that apply for unskilled workers via the EB3 green card program are approved for unskilled labor. There are several things you have to know before applying for an EB3 visa. In this article, you will learn about the EB3 visa process.

Understanding EB3 visa

The EB3 visa is a great option for unskilled, professional, and skilled workers who hope to have permanent residency in the USA. Through the EB3 visa, a United States company needs to sponsor any foreign worker to get a green card via a full-time job offer.

A United States company intending to sponsor a foreign worker should first try to employ a qualified United States worker. It’s only after the United States company tries and fails to find a qualified United States worker that they can sponsor a foreign worker.

There are many green cards that are available for foreign workers, but 28.6 percent are allocated to the EB3 visa. Hence, at least 40,000 EB3 visas can be accessed each year. Besides, less than 7 percent of the entire EB3 visas can be allocated to citizens of one country. This means that you can find more EB3 visas applicants than what is available. As a result, this can cause a backlog, meaning the processing time can be longer than you may expect, though this depends on the country where you are coming from. That said, there are several steps involved in the EB3 visa process. This includes

PERM labor certification

The first step involved in the EB3 visa process requires the potential United States employer to have an approved PERM labor certification. Once the employer successfully undergoes the PERM process, they can get a labor certification that is offered by the United States Department of Labor. An employer requires having an approved labor certification so that they can sponsor a foreign worker through the EB3 visa program. This process often takes at least ten months.   

Form I-140 Immigrant Petition

Once the Department of Labor approves the PERM labor certification, the next step is for the potential employer to send a Form i-140 to USCIS. You should note that this is the immigrant petition form and the United States employer needs to fill it on behalf of the worker. 

When the form is filled, it often takes between 6 and 69 months for the USCIS to provide a response. The United States employer can also decide to pay an extra $1,440 for a speedy processing so that they can get a response in about 15 days. But if the USCIS has some concerns about your petition, they can render a request for evidence, so this usually slows down the processing time.

The priority date 

When you send the Form I-140 immigrant petition, they give you a priority date. The priority date can tell you the time you can have your immigrant visa interview or even apply for an adjustment of status. Some countries don’t have wait time, so you can schedule a visa interview right away. On the other hand, other countries, especially India and China usually have a longer wait time. 

It’s a good idea to visit the USCIS website to get more information about these wait times. Alternatively, you can ask your immigration visa service provider to guide you on these wait times.

Consular processing

When the Form I-140 gets approved and the priority date is current, employers can tell the foreign employee to apply for their immigrant visa or an adjustment of status. If you live outside of the United States, there is a chance that you need to apply for an immigrant visa. You can do this by filing a Form DS-260. And, a couple of months after submitting the DS-260, you may be asked to attend a visa interview either at the embassy or consulate of your home country. If you successfully complete the interview, they will send you an immigrant visa that is stamped in your passport. Take note that the entire process can take about 9 months.

On the other hand, if you lawfully live in the United States with a valid non-immigrant status, you can apply to have an adjustment of status. The adjustment of status refers to the process that requires you to switch from a non-immigrant status to permanent resident status. You can choose to apply for the adjustment of status by filing a Form I-485 with USCIS. Remember that the adjustment of status process can take at least 9 months to complete. The good thing about the adjustment of status is that usually the work authorization and advance parole can arrive within 6 months after submitting your application.

Another benefit of the adjustment of status is that when you have a current priority date, you can decide to submit your Form I-485 alongside the Form I-140 simultaneously. This can save you a lot of time when it comes to the EB3 processing time.

In conclusion, the EB3 is a good option for unskilled, professional, and skilled workers who desire to have permanent residency in the USA. There are a couple of steps involved in EB3 visa application. This includes the PERM labor certification, the Form I-140 petition, priority date wait, and visa processing or even adjustment of status. Because of these steps, the EB processing time can usually take between one and three years for most visa applications to be processed. For some countries, the waiting period can even be longer.

This is the reason why you should consider using an immigration service provider for help. A reputable immigration service provider can sometimes give you the right guidance that can help to make your EB3 visa application process easier and smoother.