What does “EB-3” mean?
EB-3 refers to the Third Preference for employment-based immigrant petitions. If an EB-3 petition is approved, an individual may apply for Adjustment of Status based upon his/her employer’s approved EB-3 petition. EB-3 is reserved for skilled workers, professionals, and certain “other workers.” Each of these types of workers has a specific legal definition, so it is important to consult with an immigration lawyer to determine if your qualifications (degree, experience, etc.) may be characterized as one of these types of workers for purposes of an EB-3 petition.
Do Seattle companies petition individuals under EB-3?
Yes. Seattle has many companies that regularly sponsor their highly-skilled employees for a green card under EB-3. Seattle, being one of the most prominent technology hubs in the world, is home to companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and RealNetworks. These companies are just a few that have sponsored employees under EB-3.
What is “skilled work”?
Federal regulations define “skilled work” as a full-time permanent job requiring at least 2 years training or work experience. Relevant post-secondary education may be considered as training.
What is a “professional”?
A professional is someone with (1) at least a Baccalaureate degree (or foreign university equivalent); and (2) someone who is a member of the profession (i.e., a physician who has a license to practice medicine). Other professionals include but are not limited to: architects, engineers, lawyers, surgeons and teachers in elementary or secondary schools, colleges, academies, or seminaries.
What is “other work”?
This type of work includes foreign nationals with less than two years of training and work experience.
How do I know if my foreign degree will suffice for purposes of an EB-3 petition?
Immigration lawyers spend a considerable amount of time tackling this issue for their clients. A foreign degree must be analyzed to determine if it is equivalent to a U.S. degree. USCIS adjudicators will look to the Adjudicator’s Field Manual “AFM” to determine if the petitioner’s degree is listed. If a degree is listed in the AFM then no further analysis is required. The degree equivalency for an EB-3 professional may be met through evaluation of education but cannot be based upon years of experience or a combination of education and experience. If a petitioner has 30 years of experience in the business field in his/her home country, that may not necessarily qualify for EB-3 purposes.
How are these types of workers distinguished?
The factors that distinguish these types of workers lie in the requirements of each job as well as the relevant training and work experience that the worker has attained. USCIS looks to several authorities and standards to determine whether a job title has the requirements needed to be characterized as an EB-3 caliber employee. These authorities and standards include: (1) O*Net, (2) the Occupational Outlook Handbook, (3) the Specific Vocational Preparation, and (4) Department of Labor’s Labor Certification Standards.
Is a Labor Condition Application required as part of an EB-3 petition?
Yes. A Labor Condition Application (“LCA”) is a necessary part of all EB-3 petitions. Unlike the EB-2 petition, where the LCA may be waived with a National Interest Waiver (“NIW”), the EB-3 must always be accompanied by a LCA.
Is it better to petition under EB-2 or EB-3?
There are many factors that must be considered before deciding between EB-2 and EB-3. The priority date, immigrant visa number availability, cut-off date, and effect of PERM regulations must all be taken into account in making this decision.
How can I obtain additional information about an EB-3 petition?
Please consult with one of our Seattle immigration lawyers to learn more about EB-3. We can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (206) 535-2900.