The lawful spouse of a green card holder may enter the U.S. on an E34 (skilled worker) or EW4 (other worker) visa. Minor children (under 21 and unmarried) are generally admitted with an E35 (skilled worker) or EW5 (other worker).
Spouses may apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which allows them to work freely in the country while applying for permanent residency.
EB3 Visa Requirements & Qualification
The requirements for the EB3 visa are less strict than for other green cards such as the EB2 because the criteria are set lower. Therefore, your chances of obtaining an EB3 visa are higher. However, it is not uncommon to find yourself on a waiting list for admission.
Most EB3 visa applications cannot be adjusted from a temporary (nonimmigrant) visa until the applicant’s priority date is up to date. This priority date is established at the time the work authorization process is initiated (see below).
The employer must do the following:
- Submit the Form I-140 to USCIS.
- Certify that they can offer the job if the green card is issued.
- Certify that the beneficiary meets the necessary requirements.
There are three ways to qualify for an EB3 visa.
- Skilled worker: a position that requires at least two years of relevant work experience or training. You must also obtain a labor certification to prove that there are no qualified workers in the United States to fill the position.
- Professional. Eligible professionals need a bachelor’s degree (or foreign equivalent).
- Unskilled/”Other” workers; the third option includes jobs that can be performed with less than two years of training. (However, temporary or seasonal jobs are not included).
Labor Certification Process
To apply for an EB3 visa, you must go through the PERM labor certification process.
PERM is a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requirement that potential employers conduct a market search to prove that no willing and qualified workers for the position are already legally in the United States.
The process also requires a prevailing wage determination, which generally involves the following:
- Placement of an advertisement in the appropriate State Workforce Agency.
- Placing ads in major newspapers on consecutive Sundays.
- Posting the job ad in a conspicuous place in the workplace and on the company’s intranet/website.
- In addition, the other three hiring processes outlined in the regulations.
It is important that employers record all actions taken during the EB3 visa process. It is strongly recommended that employers work with the advice and guidance of an experienced immigration attorney.
In certain exceptional cases (Schedule A, Group I), you may file a petition directly with USCIS without a labor certification. We can also advise you on this point.
What are the EB3 visa fees?
There are many fees that both the U.S. employer and the foreign worker must pay for the EB3 visa. Your employer and you must pay the following fees:
- DOL fee for labor certification (employer).
- Cost of filing a USCIS Form I-140 petition (employer)
- Cost of processing a Form DS-261 (employee)
- Cost of medical examinations (employee)
- Cost of obtaining supporting documentation (employee)
- Any foreign language-to-English translation fees (employee)
How Long is the EB3 Green Card Processing Time?
The EB3 Green Card review period can be as short as one to three years and as long as six years or more. EB3 visas have an annual cap, so the EB3 review period can be quite long. If the annual cap has not been reached, the visa may be issued within a few months.
Do I Get Access to American Healthcare With an EB3 Visa?
Yes, EB3 visa holders are entitled to medical care in the United States. However, the cost of medical care in the U.S. is among the highest in the world.
Treatment for a broken leg or arm can cost up to $2,500 and an average stay in a U.S. hospital can cost over $10,000. You should choose the immigrant health insurance plan that best suits you, is affordable overall, and covers your needs.
Can I bring my spouse and children to the U.S with an EB3 visa?
If you are granted an EB3 immigrant visa, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are also eligible to accompany you to the United States. If you are a skilled or professional worker, your spouse may apply for an E-34 visa and your children may apply for an E-35 visa.
If you are an unskilled worker, your spouse is eligible for an EW-4 visa and your children are eligible for an EW-5 visa. These visas allow the spouse of an EB3 visa holder to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and work in the U.S. once approved.