Many individuals come to the United States to work temporarily on nonimmigrant visas, while others desire to make it their permanent home. Immigrant visas, often known as green cards, enable foreign workers to reside and work in the United States for up to 10 years. Because of its modest criteria, the EB-3 green card is one of the most popular types of green cards sought. However, because it is a popular green card, the time it takes to receive one might be affected.

What is EB-3 Visa?

Eb-3 visa is an employment-based immigrant visa that allows skilled workers, professionals, and even unskilled workers to obtain a green card based on a full-time job that is not of temporary or seasonal nature.

The EB3 visa makes up 28.6 percent of the employment-based green cards available for overseas workers. Around 40,000 of these visas are available every year. Furthermore, no more than 7% of all EB3 visas can be granted to citizens of any one country.

Requirements for Eb-3 Visa

Requirements for Eb-3 Visa

Since it is a third-priority worker visa, Eb-3 visa requirements are as stringent as they are for Eb-2 or Eb-1 visas. High degrees, exceptional skills, qualified resumes, and other gaudy profiling is not needed for Eb-3. If you qualify for any of the given categories, you can easily apply for an Eb-3 visa:

  • A qualified foreign worker with a Bachelor’s degree.
  • A skilled worker having an experience of at least two years.
  • An unskilled worker with a permanent job. For this, you should be able to perform unskilled labor that is not of temporary nature.

Eb-3 Visa Process Steps

EB-3 visa processing involves four major steps. These steps include:

  • Step 1: PERM Labor Certification
  • Step2: I-140 Petition
  • Step 3 Wait for Priority Date
  • Step 4: Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing

Each step has a different documentation requirement and processing time.

Processing Time of Each Step of EB-3

Given below is a brief account of each step and the possible estimated processing time.

Step 1: PERM Labor Certification

The first step is to get a PERM labor certification approved by the Department of Labor (DOL). The employer needs to make sure that there is no U.S. resident available for the specific job; only then can he hire a foreign worker and can sponsor him for a green card. The processing time for PERM labor certification is around six to nine months roughly.

It takes around a time of one to three months for prevailing wage determination by DOL. The advertisement period and recruitment processing time may take up to additional two months. Once it is all done, around four to six months are taken by the DOL to respond.

In the case of an audit, the processing time is further dragged for almost a year and a half.

Step 2: Form I-140 Immigrant Petition

The next following step is to file Form I-140 and submit it to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Form I-140 is basically an immigrant visa petition that is filed by the employer on behalf of the foreign worker. USCIS usually takes six months to give a response. However, if a premium processing service is used, then the processing time is reduced to 15 days.

Step 3: Wait Time for Priority Date

You will be given a priority date when you file your Form I-140 immigration petition. Your priority date will determine when you may arrange an interview for an immigrant visa or file an application for adjustment of status.

There is no waiting period for some countries, and you may book a visa interview right away. This waiting period might be substantially longer for those from other countries, notably those from China and India.

To look up your waiting period, you can view the visa bulletin released by USCIS every month.

Step 4: Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status

After the Form-I-140 has been approved, the next step is to either file for an adjustment of status or to file for an immigrant visa. This final step takes around six months.

Conclusively, EB-3 processing time ranges from a year and a half to two years for all the applicants other than the residents of the Philippines, India, or China. The processing period for nationals of those three nations might be significantly longer.

Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing Time

You will have two options for getting your green card after your I-140 is granted and the priority date reaches the current status. The first is through adjustment of status. This option is only valid for people with nonimmigrant status, to begin with. You must be in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa of temporary nature. In this case, file an I-485 and wait for the processing of the form, which should take about six months.

Those who are not in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa, on the other hand, must opt for consular processing. For this, it is necessary to schedule an appointment with a U.S. consulate in your native country. This may account for a few weeks or months.

An interview will be held by a consular officer once you arrive at the embassy to evaluate whether your case is valid. He will ask general questions (such as who your company is) or more particular ones (like what your intentions are in the United States), or a combination of the two. The purpose is to verify your identity and to ensure that you intend to stay in the United States permanently.

Can Premium Processing Speed up the processing time?

USCIS provides an extra service to speed up the processing of all I-129 and I-140 visa petitions. You can reduce the processing duration of the petition to 15 days by paying an extra charge of $1,440 as a premium processing fee. This does not, however, speed up any other steps in the EB-3 procedure.

It’s also worth noting that premium processing may be ineffective if your priority date won’t be current for some time since you won’t be able to change your status despite your I-140 being granted. Furthermore, premium processing will not improve your petition’s chances of approval. Consult your immigration attorney to see if this feature is appropriate for your situation.

Porting to Different Visas

Because the waiting durations for specific priority dates can be so long, there are occasions when an applicant obtains the appropriate education or criteria to update his green card. If you filed for an EB-3 and then received your master’s degree while waiting, you may be entitled to file for an EB-2 again, which is referred to as ‘porting’ (although it’s really like starting again from the beginning). You might be able to keep your initial priority date as well.

However, you’d have to find new employment that plainly required your new schooling first. This may be accomplished with either your current or new employment.

If you are qualified to transfer your green card and have found suitable employment, your new green card sponsor will need to get a new PERM Labor Certification on your behalf before submitting another I-140.

Who else can one bring to the U.S. with EB-3 Visa?

If your Eb-3 Visa is approved, you can bring your spouse and children that are under the age of 21 with an unmarried marital status. Spouses and children of skilled and professional workers can apply for E34and E35 visas, respectively. For unskilled workers, the spouses and children are required to apply for EW-4 and EW-5 visas, respectively.

EB-3 Visa Processing Fee

EB-3 Visa Processing Fee

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EB-3 Visa application process fee depends upon many factors, such as the country from which you are applying and whether you are opting for a premium processing service or not. A breakdown of the estimated fee paid by the employer or the employee is given below:

  • I-140 fee: $700 (paid by employer)
  • I-907 fee to be paid for premium processing: $1,440 – optional (paid by employer)
  • I-485 fee for Status Adjustment: $1,140 (paid by employee)
  • Consular Processing fee: $445 (paid by employee)

Other expenses may include the employer’s costs of advertising the PERM Labor recruiting procedure. You should also consider the expense of employing an immigration lawyer, which is although optional but crucial.

Why choose Herman Legal Group?

It is never convenient to go through the immigration procedure alone. It’s important to have a professional on your side in any legal matter. Attorneys at Herman Legal Group are qualified workers who have spent years assisting companies and foreign-born personnel in working and living in the United States. Herman Legal Group is a U.S.-based immigration law firm that aims at providing you with the smoothest experience in all aspects of immigration processes.

Call 1-800-808-4013 or 1-216-696-6170 to schedule an appointment with one of Herman Legal Group’s experienced immigration lawyers or book online.

At Herman Legal Group, Your Future Matters Most

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