What You Should Know Before Your EB-3 Immigrant Visa Process

Last Updated on May 8, 2024

The EB-3 is an employment-based third preference immigrant visa for skilled workers, professionals and unskilled workers (other workers).

EB-3 immigrant visas permit full-time work for unskilled jobs that require less than two years of experience and training. Workers can obtain permanent residency with an EB-3 visa, provided they find an employer to sponsor them for a job and the application is approved. Every year, up to 10,000 visas are granted to unskilled workers through the EB-3 green card program for unskilled labor.

We sat down with attorneys Bita Lak from Corporate Immigration Partners, as well as Chris Richardson, COO and general counsel at BDV Solutions, to address questions that immigration attorneys want individuals to know before the EB-3 process.

EB-3 Visa: Frequently Asked Questions

I am currently living outside of the U.S. Am I still eligible to apply for EB-3 unskilled worker?

Yes. However, additional fees will apply for consular processing of an EB-3 visa (National visa Center fee). It’s also important to consider that the EB-3 immigrant visa process can take several years in total. BDV Solutions offers individuals pathways to immigrate to the U.S. through the EB-3 immigrant visa process.

I have a bachelor’s or advanced degree (master’s or Ph.D.). Am I still qualified to apply for EB-3 unskilled worker?

Yes. The minimum requirements for an EB-3 unskilled worker are to demonstrate the ability to perform unskilled labor (requiring less than two years training or experience) that is not of a temporary or seasonal nature.

While possession of higher education credentials may make someone eligible for an EB-2 or EB-1, they would also still be eligible for the EB-3. Check out this explainer from BDV Solutions for more information!

Do I have to have my attorney present at the time of my Adjustment of Status interview?

No, but the presence of an immigration attorney at the Adjustment of Status interview is preferable. The adjudicating U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer will direct all questions at the applicant in the interview, but the attorney may provide clarifications throughout the course of the questioning.

Additionally, the attorney can help prepare the applicant for the interview by practicing the common questions and answers prior to the interview.

Can I include my spouse and my children as my dependents in my EB-3 case? If so, what are the requirements?

Yes. Eligible dependent family members can file for a green card along with the applicant during the I-485 stage of the process. Dependents eligible to apply for a green card at that time would be an applicant’s spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21.

Can I include my spouse and my children as my dependents in my EB-3 case, even though I live in the U.S., and they live outside of the U.S.?

Yes. After the I-140 petition is approved, the applicant’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible to apply for admission to the U.S. through a U.S. consulate abroad.

I am under H-1B status. Am I eligible to change my non-immigrant status to immigrant-status, EB-3 unskilled worker?

Yes, the applicant is eligible to change from a non-immigrant status to the approved immigrant status.

“Often times individuals on H-1B status remain in the U.S. for a significant period and may risk running out of options. In that case, the EB-3 unskilled visa can be a solution,” says Richardson.

Can I premium process my Form I-765 and my Form I-131 (Employment Authorization Document) once I file for Form I-485?

No, premium processing is not available for Form I-765 or Form I-131.

I am under F-1 status. Can I drop school once my Form I-140 is approved and I receive my Form I-485 receipt notice? Can I still stay in the U.S. until my Form I-485 or green card petition is approved?

Yes. An applicant may drop out of the F-1 status if Form I-140 is approved and the applicant receives I-485 receipt notice. However, once an applicant drops out of school, they cannot maintain F-1 status anymore, but they can stay in the U.S. legally based on the pending Adjustment of Status (AOS). For this reason, if the AOS is denied in the rare event, the applicant would need to leave the country immediately. BDV Solutions is available to assist directly with transitions like these.

How soon can I start working for my sponsoring employer?

You may start work as soon as your I-765 application is approved, and you receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Card.

Can I expedite my consular processing case?

An applicant may be able to expedite the consulate processing by submitting a request to the National Visa Center (NVC). Documentation would need to be provided to the NVC explaining the reason for the expedite (emergencies and urgent humanitarian reasons).

“The ability to expedite a consular case is on a case-by-case basis. While certainly possible, NVC only expedites an appointment if there is a true, urgent need for the applicant to be in the U.S,” says Richardson.

When should I submit my I-693 medical exam? Can I interfile it?

An applicant can submit Form I-693 medical exam at the time of filing Form I-485. They may also wait for USCIS to issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) concerning the medical exam and then submit it to USCIS. This course of action is preferred in some cases because the medical exam document can get lost in an interfiling, in which case the applicant needs to resubmit the medical exam.

Can I port to a new employer while my I-485 remains pending?

An applicant can change the sponsoring employer if:

  1. Applicant’s Form I-140 has been approved or is going to be approved when filed concurrently with Form I-485;
  2. Applicant’s Form I-485 has been pending for at least 180 days or more, and;
  3. The new job is “same or similar”

To port an eligible pending Form I-485, an applicant needs to file Form I-485J with USCIS.

Pursuing the EB-3 Immigrant Visa

The EB-3 visa can be a valuable option for foreign individuals of all backgrounds seeking a pathway to live and work in the U.S. If you are interested in learning more about the EB-3 visa, Envoy Global and the team at BDV Solutions are ready to help! Go to bdvsolutions.com to get started.

Envoy is pleased to provide you with this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Bita Lak, who is a Senior Attorney at Corporate Immigration Partners, P.C., a U.S. law firm who provides services through the Envoy Platform (the “U.S. Law Firm”).     

Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. Envoy is not a law firm, and does not provide legal advice. If you would like guidance on how this information may impact your particular situation and you are a client of the U.S. Law Firm, consult your attorney. If you are not a client of the U.S. Law Firm working with Envoy, consult another qualified professional. This website does not create an attorney-client relationship with the U.S. Law Firm.