Companies looking to hire employees for their organization face many challenges. One of which could include a lack of qualified and eligible professionals or workers for a specific position. The EB-3 visa program can help, by allowing employers to attract forigen workers permanently. Since the EB-3 visa is a path to permanent residency for candidates, it can be a powerful recruitment tool for attracting diverse talent from different countries.
What is the EB-3 visa?
The EB-3 visa allows workers to come to the United States permanently. It is the third of five priority designations for workers and employees. Employers can use this visa program to hire professionals, skilled, or unskilled workers in a broad range of categories.
Who qualifies, and under what conditions?
Of all the five employment-based immigration categories, the EB-3 visa is the broadest. EB-3 visa requirements are divided into three categories, depending on the type of worker applying for the visa.
- Skilled workers. Employers can sponsor skilled workers who are seeking positions requiring at least two years of training, experience, or post-secondary education. Workers who are granted a visa need to meet the training and experience qualifications for the job. Companies may use this category to hire chefs, computer workers, graphic designers, journalists, and other professionals.
- Professional. Workers in this category must have a U.S. baccalaureate or an equivalent degree relevant for the job they are being hired for. Companies can hire these workers under the visa program only if the job position requires someone with a bachelor’s degree. This category generally encompasses teachers, architects, lawyers, medical professionals, and other workers.
- Unskilled workers. In this category, workers need less than two years of experience of training but must be able to show they can perform the unskilled labor the hiring company requires. Nannies, janitors, nurse’s aides, housekeepers, landscape workers, and other unskilled workers may all fall into this category.
While all three categories are different, there are some basic EB-3 visa requirements needed for all. Organizations must prove that there are no American workers willing, able, and qualified to do the job and labor certification is required for EB-3 visas. Employers also need to extend a job offer before the visa application process starts and must be able to prove that they can pay the stated wage for the worker.
An EB-3 visa allows companies to permanently hire workers. The employee is allowed to live, work, and travel in the United States as a permanent resident. They can also change employers and eventually pursue citizenship. He or she can also bring unmarried children under the age of 21 and a spouse to the United States as dependents.
What’s the process like for securing an EB-3 visa?
The process of application requires significant work from the employer since the employer must sponsor the worker, prove that U.S. workers are not qualified/available for the job, and file applications. The process can take over a year or even three years or more in some instances.
- The employer needs to secure a Permanent Labor Certification from the U.S. Department of Labor.
- The employer must file Form I-140 — Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers — with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- As part of the application process, the employer must submit filing fees and supporting documents, which can include audited financial statements, business tax filings, and other documentation.
- The worker must apply to adjust their status if they already reside in the U.S. or apply for a visa interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy if they live outside the United States.
When an organization seeks talent outside U.S. borders, the first step is to determine whether an EB-3 visa is the right option. If it is, the company should create a job position along with its requirements, so that candidates can begin the process of securing labor certification. As part of that process, companies must show that they attempted to recruit U.S. workers, and American workers are not available, willing, or able to do the job.
Are there any caps or restrictions to be aware of?
There is a 40,000 cap on EB-3 visas each year, and 10,000 of these are earmarked for unskilled workers. There are also country specific limits. These limits combined with the high rate of demand from U.S. employers could equate to long wait times, especially for unskilled workers. Due to the long wait times, it can be useful to explore whether another visa program might also fit your needs.
How long can someone stay on this visa?
EB-3 visas last for ten years, but it can be renewed and can allow workers to eventually seek citizenship. If a worker follows the requirements and terms of their visa, they can use the visa program to seek permanent residence in the U.S.
How can Farmer Law help?
The attorneys at Farmer Law work closely with organizations looking to invest in the future success of their businesses by hiring foreign nationals for open positions. We understand your employees are your most valuable assets and that the immigration process can be time-consuming, especially for business leaders deeply invested in their companies. EB-3 visas require lengthy and complex applications for labor certification in addition to the visa application and the recruitment process. Getting support from Farmer Law with these processes frees up your time to focus on your business.
Our attorneys can review your hiring goals and offer suggestions about which visa program might best fit your needs. Our team guides companies through the hiring and immigration process, offering guidance and working to resolve any challenges or issues along the way. Contact Farmer Law today to schedule a consultation with an immigration attorney to discuss your hiring and immigration needs.