The EB-3 green card is designed for foreign skilled workers, for foreign professionals as well as for oreign skilled or unskilled workers.

The law defines “skilled workers” as those whose jobs require a minimum of 2 years of training or work experience. (In certain cases, relevant post-secondary education may be considered as training).

Unskilled workers are those foreign nationals performing unskilled labor that require less than 2 years of training or experience.

The application process for an EB-3 Green Card requires sponsorship from a U.S. employer. The foreign worker needs a permanent, full-time offer for a job position for which qualified workers are not available in the United States. The EB-3 application process involves three major steps:

  • The PERM Labor Certification process
  • The I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
  • The application for adjustment of status or, alternatively, the application for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad

Step 1: the PERM Labor Certification process

The first step to obtain an EB-3 Green Card is the PERM/Labor Certification process with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). First, the U.S. employer must define the duties and minimum requirements of the permanent position offered to the foreign national. Then, the employer must submit a “prevailing wage determination” (PWD) request to the DOL. The DOL will then issue a determination as to the minimum wage that the sponsoring employer must pay the foreign national.

The PWD is based on the specific job requirements and on the location of employment. Furthermore, the DOL, by regulation, requires an employer to test the U.S. labor market by advertising the position offered to the foreign national so to make it available to U.S. workers. This step is often referred to as the “recruitment stage” and the employer must perform specific steps in its advertisement efforts. The purpose of this stage is for the employer to determine that no qualified and willing U.S. workers are available for the position offered to the foreign national.

It may take the DOL approximately one year to adjudicate the PERM application. The DOL can (1) certify the PERM, (2) deny the PERM, or (3) audit the PERM. If the PERM is audited, the DOL may ask the employer for additional evidence. Once the PERM is approved, the employer can move on to the next step of the process, which is the filing of the I-140 petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Step 2: the I-140 Immigrant Petition

After the PERM/Labor Certification Application has been certified by the DOL, the second step in an EB-3 Green Card application is for the employer to file the I-140 Immigrant Petition with USCIS along with the certified PERM/Labor Certification Application. The purpose of the I-140 Petition is to prove that the foreign national is qualified to fill the job position as well as to prove that the employer has the financial ability to pay the offered wage to the foreign national.

Step 3: Approving the green card application through adjustment of status or consular processing

The final step in the green card process through employer sponsorship occurs after the I-140 Petition is approved by USCIS. At this stage, the foreign professional or worker can follow two different procedures. If the professional is already in the United States in valid status and an immigrant visa is available, he or she can obtain the EB-3 green card by filing an adjustment of status application. Alternatively, if the foreign person is not in the United States, he or she can apply for an EB-3 immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad once a visa is available.

Contact Donald Gross Law for a free 30-minute consultation to start the application process for your EB-3 green card.