One of the ways that someone could secure permanent residency in the United States is through an EB-3 visa. These visas are employment-based, but approval of an application is never guaranteed. A skilled immigration attorney could assist with the application process.
The process of applying for and securing an EB-3 visa can be lengthy and difficult. From assessing eligibility to navigating the application process, pursuing this type of visa on your own can be difficult. A Boston EB-3 lawyer could help a foreign resident begin their journey toward lawful permanent residency in the United States.
There are different visa options available for foreign workers seeking green cards following a job offer based in the United States. Each of these visas is divided into five categories which are based on preference. The third preference group—which is one of the most important categories—is known as the EB-3 visa.
There are three types of workers that could qualify for an EB-3: skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers. A Boston EB-3 attorney could assist with the application process for any of these workers.
Skilled workers are individuals that have at least two years of job training related to their chosen field. This training should be something other than a bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent. To qualify for an EB-3, a skilled worker must show they intend to perform work in a field that lacks qualified U.S. workers.
A person qualifies as a professional if they hold a bachelor’s degree from a United States college or an equivalent from a foreign university. Other types of education or training may not be substituted. Professionals must also establish they intend to enter the United States to perform work because American workers are not available.
Other workers—often known as unskilled workers—lack a bachelor’s degree or at least two years of job training or experience. Instead, they must be able to show they are capable of performing the work for which they were hired despite the lack of training or experience. This work cannot be seasonal or temporary.
The process of obtaining an EB-3 visa does not begin with an application by a foreign worker. Unfortunately, many people approach our Massachusetts office for help, but do not yet even have a job offer from a U.S. company. Instead, the first step requires the employer to seek certification from the United States Department of Labor. Before this certificate can be issued, a worker must have full-time, permanent employment lined up for a specific position with the employer that is sponsoring them.
Another critical aspect of the application process is based on whether there are American workers able to fill the role the foreign worker is seeking. EB-3 visas are only available in cases where employers are unable to find appropriate workers domestically. This requirement is rigorously enforced by the Department of Labor. It is crucial that an immigration attorney advise the company about how to perform recruitment and how to test the labor market to avoid the Department of Labor from denying certification.
If the DOL issues a certification, the employer must submit a determination establishing they are able to pay the offered wage to the foreign worker at a level that does not displace American workers. This “prevailing wage” requirement is also complex, and legal advice is recommended. Throughout this process, the guidance of an EB-3 attorney in Boston could be invaluable.
An EB-3 visa might be an option for securing lawful permanent residency in the United States, but this process is rarely simple. Even if you have an employer to sponsor you, it is necessary to show that there are no American workers that could fill the position. Also, as with any visa type, not everyone will be able to get the green card while they are in the United States. Employment-based applicants must be “in status” to get a green card inside the United States, which can be difficult to do unless the worker also has a nonimmigrant status like H-1B, L-1, or TN the entire time they are waiting for the immigration process. Read more about adjustment of status here.
An experienced Boston EB-3 lawyer could not only ensure you qualify but also make the case that your skills are necessary to the U.S. workforce. Call our office right away to learn more about how our skilled team could assist you.