Employment-based third preference
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Professionals, skilled workers and other (unskilled) workers are eligible for EB-3.

Here, a professional means a person who has a bachelor’s degree (or an equivalent foreign degree) and is a member of profession; a skilled worker indicates a person who is eligible for a permanent job requiring at least two years of work experience; and an unskilled worker is a foreign national with less than two years of work experience.

Your Eligibility:

To qualify EB-3 Professional or Skilled Worker, on the date that the labor certification application was filed (a/k/a your priority date) you must hold a bachelor’s degree or two years or more of work experience that is required for the proffered job position.

Although you cannot qualify an EB-3 Professional with your professional work experience, the EB-2 Skilled Worker category does permit equivalency based on education and experience.

Qualified Job:

To establish your eligibility for EB-3 Professional/Skilled Worker classification, you must also demonstrate that: the sponsoring company, and the industry as a whole, requires either a baccalaureate degree or two-years or more experiences for the proffered position.

Also, the offered annual salary must equal to or exceed the prevailing wage which the Department of Labor determines.

Common Issues in Employment-based Immigration Categories:

  1. Prevailing Wage

The immigration law requires that the hiring of a foreign worker should not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers comparably employed. To comply with the legal requirement, the Department of Labor’s regulations require that the wage offered to a foreign worker must be the prevailing wage rate for the occupation classification in the area of employment.

The prevailing wage rate is defined as the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in a specific occupation in the particular geographic area of intended employment. The National Prevailing Wage Center determines the prevailing wage rate based upon several factors, including: location of employment place, job requirements, the advanced level of job duties, as well as number of subordinate workers to supervise.

  1. Employer’s Financial Ability to Pay:

The sponsoring employer is required to prove that it has sufficient financial ability to pay the annual salary that it offers to you, by any one of the following three ways:

  • Its annual NET income equals to or exceeds the offered annual salary, OR
  • Its NET CURRENT assets equal to or exceed the offered annual salary, OR
  • It has been paying you the offered annual salary.

This financial ability must be maintained from the date of submitting the labor certification application through the date of final approval of your Green Card application, with no interruption.

To show its financial ability, the sponsoring company must submit any one of: its FEDERAL corporation income tax return, annual report or audited financial statement. The only exception to this rule is that if the number of employees of the sponsoring company is over 100, then a letter from its chief financial officer can replace the above financial documents.

  • Your Green Card Application:

If the visa number for your category, either an EB-3 Professional or Skilled Worker or Unskilled Worker, is available when the labor certification application is approved by the Department of Labor, then you are eligible to submit your application for permanent residency. If you are lawfully stay within the United States at the moment, then you may adjust your status to a permanent resident by filing a Form I-485 to the USCIS. If you are not or if you choose to take the consular process, then you may apply for an immigrant visa to a U.S. Consulate abroad after waiting the approval of I-140 immigrant petition that the sponsoring employer files with the USCIS.


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