EB-3 Visas for Professional, Skilled, and Other Workers

The EB-3 is an immigrant visa for individuals who are skilled, professional, or other workers. This type of visa grants people employment-based permanent residency in the United States. The requirements for it are less stringent than an EB-1 or EB-2 visa, although the wait time is typically much longer. EB-3 applicants must have a permanent offer of employment from a U.S. employer for a job for which qualified workers are not available in the U.S.

Skilled Workers

According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a “skilled worker” is an individual whose job requires a minimum of two years of training or work experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature. EB-3 applicants must have a permanent job offer from a U.S. company. The training requirement may be satisfied through post-secondary education.


The USCIS defines a “professional” as an individual whose job requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalent and is a member of the relevant profession. Education and experience cannot substitute for a degree for the purposes of this subcategory. The individual must have a permanent job offer from a U.S. company. When the USCIS issues a receipt and approval notice in the EB-3 category. it usually denotes the individual as a “Skilled Worker or Professional.”

Other Workers

Under the USCIS definition, “other workers” include individuals performing unskilled labor requiring less than two years of training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature. The applicant must have a permanent job offer from a U.S. company. The unskilled worker must perform labor in positions that cannot be filled by qualified U.S. workers. In other words, the employer has to show that there are no Americans who are ready, willing, and able to take the position.

The EB-3 process requires the employer to apply for a Labor Certification, which must be approved by the Department of Labor (DOL).  All sponsoring employers are required to comply with government wage standards that mandate the international worker receive the same wage as a U.S. worker for the same position. This is known as the “prevailing wage” requirement. The nature of the position and geographical location will be a significant factor in determining the appropriate wage. The sponsoring company has to advertise the position and meet a number of other DOL requirements.

All costs associated with Labor Certification are the employer’s obligation as opposed to the worker’s responsibility.  Travel to the U.S. and other costs related to travel are the worker’s responsibility. Others costs that are the worker’s responsibility include housing, travel to and from work, and any expenses related to the worker’s personal needs.

Upon receipt of the permanent visa or green card, the worker does not have to reapply for a work visa to continue working full-time with the company. This is because the EB-3 visa has an indefinite term for employment authorization.

The EB-3 green card holder’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible to accompany or join him or her in the U.S. permanently.