Each year, the U.S. government issues a limited number of immigrant visas allowing the holders to live and work legally in the U.S. for indefinite amounts of time. Most people who receive visas qualify based on employment or family connection.
Professional workers, skilled workers, and some unskilled workers may qualify to obtain a third preference employment-based visa if they meet the eligibility criteria. Because mistakes in the application procedure can delay or prevent an applicant from receiving a visa, it is crucial to work with an EB-3 visa lawyer. A knowledgeable visa lawyer could help from the start of the application process or step in to resolve difficulties that arise later.
There are three subcategories of EB-3 visas, but they share one requirement in common. Any applicant seeking a third preference employment-based visa must have an offer of full-time employment, and that offer must come from an employer who obtained certification from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Labor certification requires an employer to declare to the Labor Department that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the position. An EB-3 visa lawyer can help an employer obtain certification or file the petition that starts the visa application process.
Whether a worker is skilled, unskilled, or a professional, they must present evidence to demonstrate they are coming to the U.S. to perform a job for which there are no qualified workers available in the U.S. In most cases, evidence of a labor certification should satisfy this element.
Skilled workers must demonstrate they have at least two years of relevant job experience or equivalent training. Unskilled workers need to show that they can perform unskilled labor that is not seasonal or temporary. Professional workers must submit evidence of education equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. university or another acceptable combination of education and experience. An EB-3 visa lawyer can help an applicant present evidence to demonstrate they meet the requirements.
The first step toward obtaining an EB-3 visa is for the employer to obtain a labor certification. Then the employer must file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker with USCIS. Among other requirements, the employer must demonstrate an ability to pay the appropriate wage.
After USCIS approves the petition, it is sent to the National Visa Center, if the applicant is not eligible to adjust status in the United States. The Center may begin pre-processing, which includes paying appropriate fees. When the waiting period has passed, the applicant will generally be asked to submit documentation, including the visa application form. An attorney can assist with the preparation of forms and other evidence so that documentation complies with government requirements.
An EB-3 visa enables workers and their families to take advantage of many opportunities in the U.S. Because competition for a visa can be intense, it is essential to comply with the requisite conditions to obtain a visa with the least amount of delays.
A lawyer can assess your qualifications and help demonstrate eligibility on behalf of a worker or an employer. Call today to discuss your situation.
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