Employment Third Preference

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The Employment Based Third Preference (EB-3) category for granting permanent residence to foreign nationals based upon employment is for Priority Workers who are:

  • Foreign national professionals with bachelor's degrees (not qualifying for a higher preference category)
  • Foreign national skilled workers (minimum two years training and experience)
  • Foreign national unskilled workers


EB-3 classification includes:

  • Aliens with at least two years of experience as skilled workers;
  • Professionals with a baccalaureate degree; and
  • Other workers with less than two years experience, such as an unskilled worker who can perform labor for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.

While eligibility requirements for the EB-3 classification are less stringent than the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications, you should be aware that a long Backlog Center exists for visas in the "other workers" category. The regulations for EB-3 workers are found at 8 CFR ยง 204.5.

Skilled worker positions are not seasonal or temporary and require at least two years of experience or training. The training requirement may be met through relevant post-secondary education. The Form ETA-750 (Labor Certification) states the job requirements, which determine whether a job is skilled or unskilled.

Professionals must hold a U.S. baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalent degree that is normally required for the profession. Education and experience may not be substituted for the degree.

Other workers are in positions that require less than two years of higher education, training, or experience. However, due to the long backlog, a petitioner could expect to wait many years before being granted an immigrant visa number under this category.


Your employer must file a USCIS Form I-140 at the USCIS Regional Service Center that serves the area where you will work. All I-140 EB-3 petitions must include a labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer. There are no exceptions.


Immigration through Employment

Other helpful sites you may want to visit if you:

  • want to find out more about the Department of State Visa Process
  • want to review the Department of State Visa Bulletin
  • want to find out more about the Department of Labor Foreign Labor Certification

Further info and discussions

EB3 India predictions

What is the future of EB3?

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