The EB-3 is a permanent resident visa/green card.
The process takes a little longer than the temporary non-immigrant visas like the H-2B visa but it usually has a higher chance of approval and it is not temporary.
It involves the following steps:
Step 1: Permanent Labor Certification (12 months)
A permanent labor certification issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States.
Before the U.S. employer can submit an immigration petition (USCIS Form I-140) to the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the employer must obtain a certified labor certification application from the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA).
The DOL must certify to the USCIS that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
- The Job Offer
- The Employer offers the position to the foreign national, contingent on there being no qualified U.S. worker who will apply for the position in the subsequent recruitment.
- Prevailing Wage Request Filing
- The ETA 9141 prevailing wage request form contains the position details (job title, duties, requirements, work location) and requests the minimum required wage from the Department of Labor (DOL).
- Processing time is currently approximately 150 days (5 months). You can use our proprietary prevailing wage level calculator app to accurately predict the prevailing wage.
- PERM labor certification recruitment for unskilled workers requires 2 print ads in the Major Sunday Newspaper, a 30 day posting with the State Workforce Agency, and an internal PERM Notice of Filing.
- These recruitment procedures exist to ensure that employers are not depriving qualified U.S. workers of employment.
- ETA 9089 Labor Certification Filing
- Once the recruitment period has ended, and there are no qualified U.S. workers who applied for the advertised position, the ETA 9089 PERM Labor Certification can be filed.
- It is an online, attestation-based filing.
Step 1 Processing Times: 12 Months
- Prevailing Wage Request: 5 months
- Advertising: 2-3 months
- PERM Filing: 6 months
Step 2: I-140 USCIS Filing (15 days to 6 months)
- Once the ETA 9089 is certified the I-140 petition for Immigrant Worker may be filed with USCIS.
- The I-140 USCIS Filing Fee is $700.
- Normal processing time is approx. 6 months but there is a premium processing option that involves a $2,500 payment to USCIS for a 15 day processing time.
Step 2 Processing Time: 15 days to 6 months
- 15 Days for Premium Processing
- 6 months for Regular Processing
Step 3: Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status (6 months)
- As soon as the I-140 petition is approved by USCIS the foreign national will receive an email from the National Visa Center with instructions on what documentation to bring to the interview at the U.S. Embassy.
- Once the foreign national receives the permanent residence visa they will be able to travel to the U.S. to start their permanent employment with the sponsoring organization.
Step 3 Processing Time: 6 months
- Not subject to a random lottery (like the H-2B visa) so it provides a more predictable flow of workers.
- Workers arrive as permanent residents, not temporary workers.
- It takes 18 to 24 months from start to approval.