EB3 Visa Explained

Known as the land of opportunity, the United States is one of the most sought-after destinations for foreign workers due to its economic stability, diverse opportunities and high standard of living.

The EB-3 Visa, or third preference employment-based Green Card, offers a valuable pathway for skilled workers, professionals and other workers to live and work in the U.S. permanently.

This guide provides a detailed overview of the EB-3 Visa, covering the program's offerings, requirements and application process.

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What is the EB-3 Visa?

The EB-3 Visa is designed for foreign nationals seeking to work and live permanently in the United States.

It enables individuals and their families to obtain permanent residency via a Green Card, helping them achieve their American dream.

There are three categories of applicants:

  • EB-3(A) Skilled Workers: Those whose jobs require at least two years of training or work experience.
  • EB-3(B) Professional Workers: Those whose jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree or a foreign equivalent.
  • EB-3(C) Other Workers: Those performing unskilled labor that requires less than two years of training or experience.

The U.S. issues about 40,000 EB-3 Visas each year, and the program is currently run by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

What are the benefits of the EB-3 Visa

As one of the employment-based immigrant visas, EB-3 offers several benefits to foreign nationals seeking permanent residency in the United States. Some of these include:

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Route to citizenship

The EB-3 Visa provides a route to U.S. residency. However, once Green Card holders have had a resident status for five years, they can apply for U.S. citizenship.

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Inclusion of family

The EB-3 Visa allows the main applicant to include their spouse and unmarried dependent children under 21 in the application. This provides a path for the entire family to obtain permanent residency.

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Live and work permanently in the United States

The EB-3 Visa holder, as well as their dependents, can live and work permanently in the United States

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Travel freely in and out of the U.S

The EB-3 Visa allows you and your family to travel freely in and out of the United States.

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Guaranteed job offer

As an employment-based visa, the EB-3 requires you to have a job offer. Through our partnerships, we are able to offer you a guaranteed permanent, full-time job on arrival in the US.

Eligibility for the EB-3 Program

The EB-3 Visa has three different categories, each with its own set of requirements. Below are the requirements for obtaining each of the visa categories:

EB-3(A): Skilled Workers

Requires a minimum of two years of training or experience and a job offer from a U.S.-based employer for a position that cannot be filled by an American citizen.

EB-3(B): Professionals

Requires a job offer for a position that cannot be filled by an American citizen, and the applicant must hold a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher or its foreign equivalent.

EB-3(C): Unskilled Workers

Requires the ability to perform unskilled labor that needs less than two years of training or experience and a job offer from an employer who can demonstrate the absence of qualified American workers for unskilled positions.

The third EB-3 Visa category remains a popular choice due to its relatively low requirements and high success rate. It can be challenging to demonstrate that professional or skilled workers are more qualified for certain jobs than American citizens.

However, the EB-3 Unskilled or Other Workers visa offers the opportunity to obtain permanent residency by proving the existence of job positions with low requirements that cannot be filled by American workers, making it a beneficial and secure option for those seeking to become permanent residents quickly.

What are the EB-3 Visa requirements?

As opposed to other programs with high requirements, such as the EB-5 investor visa, the EB-3 Visa has relatively low requirements. In order to be eligible for the EB-3 Green Card, you must meet this criteria:

  • Be willing to work for a sponsor
  • Be able to speak basic English
  • Be able to pay $45,000 for one applicant, and $3,000 for each dependent
  • Provide medical checks and police clearance reports

There are no education or language requirements in order to obtain the EB-3(C) Visa, although it is preferred that you have a good understanding of the English language. You do not have to have any job experience in order to obtain the EB-3 Visa. Read our guide to how to get a Green Card with an EB3 Visa for more information.

EB-3 Visa Process

The EB-3 Visa application process starts by determining one’s eligibility.

The U.S. employer must then obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor, proving no qualified U.S. workers are available for the position.

The employer files Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, to USCIS. The DS 260 form is submitted by the applicant to initiate the final process.

Then, the applicant is interviewed at the local U.S. Consular Office.

After approval, the applicant receives a visa or green card, allowing them to enter or remain in the U.S. as a permanent resident.

Below is an overview of the EB-3 Visa Program process:

Step 1 – MONTHS 1-3

Receive your job offer then apply for Labor Certification (LC) from the US Department of Labor (DOL)

Step 2 – MONTHS 3-12

Submit an I-140 Petition to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Pay Visa Fee upon receipt of Visa fee bill from National Visa Center (NVC)

Submit DS 260 to NVC to start the final process

Step 3 – MONTHS 12-18

Interview at local US Consular Office, Invitation letter, & interview within 2 months

Step 4 – MONTHS 18-24

Receive a Green card and arrive in the US before the visa expiry date


Start your new job and settle permanently in the US

The processing time for an EB-3 Visa can vary depending on a number of factors, including the country you are applying from and the number of people applying for visas in your category. However, the average processing time is currently about 24 months. You can find out more about the processing time updates from the EB-5 investor visa, the EB-3 Visa has relatively Visa Bulletin.

It is possible to shorten the processing time to approximately 12 months by paying a government/premium processing fee of $3,500.

Secure your EB-3 Visa with Holborn Assets

The EB-3 Visa Program is a highly successful and sought-after scheme. It allows foreign nationals to secure a Green Card, granting them and their families permanent residence in America.

If you want to learn more about the EB-3 Visa or to ask any questions, we can help. Download our EB-3 factsheet for more information.

Holborn Pass is an international leader in investor visas. Our expert team provides a bespoke, end-to-end service and tailored advice to support your needs.

We are part of the wider Holborn Assets Group, a leading, award-winning financial advisory company with over $2 billion in assets under management (AUM)

We have successfully helped hundreds of individuals and families achieve their second residency dreams. To find out how we can help you, book a consultation with one of our advisers.

Frequently asked questions

The EB-3 Visa is a U.S. Green Card category for foreign nationals who wish to live and work permanently in the United States. It is available to three types of applicants: skilled workers (EB-3A) with at least two years of job experience or training; professionals (EB-3B) with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent; and other workers (EB-3C) performing unskilled labor requiring less than two years of training or experience.

The EB-3 Visa offers several advantages including a guaranteed job offer through the program’s partnerships, a pathway to U.S. citizenship after five years of permanent residency, the ability to include a spouse and unmarried children under 21 in the application, and the freedom to live, work, and travel in and out of the U.S. permanently.

Eligibility varies by category. To be eligible for the EB-3 Unskilled Workers visa, applicants must provide a police clearance and a medical check report. No educational background or work experience is needed. Basic English proficiency is required, and candidates must be willing to work for a sponsor. To apply, you will also need to pay for the application and processing expenses.

The application process involves receiving a job offer, applying for Labor Certification, submitting an I-140 Petition, and completing the DS 260 form. This is followed by an interview at a U.S. Consulate. The total processing time can vary but averages around 24 months. By paying a premium processing fee of $3,500 to the government, it’s possible to reduce the processing time to around 12 months.

Applicants must be able to pay $45,000 for one applicant and $3,000 for each dependent. This fee covers the application and processing expenses.

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