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B-3 visa is a green card for workers, specifically for the skilled, professional, or other unskilled ones. It is an employment-based green card and is the third category for such visas. Like the EB-1 and EB-2 visas, this one also helps an immigrant with grabbing overseas jobs, and to live in the USA & work in a specific field.

The EB-3 visa allows three types of workers to go to the US permanently and work there. These groups of workers are:

  • Skilled workers - Those with at least 2 years of job experience or training.
  • Professionals - Those who can prove that they have a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent.
  • Unskilled workers - Those with less than 2 years of work experience or training. 

Read more about the EB-3 visa.

1. How many EB-3 visas are issued each year? 

There is a cap on the number of EB-3 visas issued each year. Out of the total 140,000 employment category immigrant visas issued, around 40,040 visas are allocated for the EB-3 category. 

Once this quota is reached, the rest of the applications are put on hold for the following year.

2. Can I use premium processing for EB-3?

Yes! Most EB-3 cases allow you to expedite the I-140 processing time using an optional service known as premium processing. 


By filling out the I-907 form and paying the $1,440 fee, you can have the petition time shortened to 15 calendar days.


However, just because your petition is approved in 15 days, it does not mean that you can get your green card. You will still have to wait for your priority date to be current. Speak with your immigration attorney or a global service consultant to learn if premium processing is appropriate for your situation.

3. What is the EB-3 application fee?

There are several fees one might have to pay for getting an EB-3. The first and mandatory one is the I-140 filing fee of $700. This fee is to be paid each time the I-140 is filed (including for green card “porting”) and the employer is liable to pay it. 

Once the I-140 is approved, you will either be required to adjust your status or go through premium processing. For the adjustment of status, filing an I-485 form with the USCIS along with a filing fee is required. You are responsible to pay this fee and the fee varies based on your age. You may find the fee schedule as mentioned:

  • $750 for those under the age of 14 and filing alongside a parent.
  • $1,140 for those under the age of 14 but not filing alongside a parent.
  • $1,225 for those between the ages of 14 and 78.
  • $1,140 for those over the age of 78.

If you are going through consular processing, you will need to complete the DS-260 online immigrant visa application and pay the fee of $325 along with an affidavit of support fee of $120 for a total of $445. 

You must do this before arriving at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy for your EB-3 interview. You will also need to take any extra costs into account including attorney or travel fees, or the optional premium processing fee of $1,440.

4. What are the pros and cons of an EB-3?

Green cards are different from temporary work visas. Aside from a few exceptions, all these visas offer the same benefits. Every green card allows the holder to have a lawful permanent residence, meaning that they can live and work in the U.S. almost without restrictions (except for federal jobs that require security clearance). 

With EB-5 visa exceptions and marriage-based green cards, each one is valid for ten years, after which the holder will be required to renew their green card. Renewal does not ask a holder to re-qualify but to pay the renewal fee and demonstrate that they have not committed any crimes or stayed outside of the U.S. for an extended period of time.

The real-time differences between green cards are the action dates & qualifications. The EB-3 usually calls for the longest waiting period when it comes to employment-based green cards, so qualifying for an EB-1 or EB-2 will usually allow you to obtain your green card more quickly.  “People from India and China have been the major beneficiaries of this category.” 

As per the requirements, the EB-3 enjoys the lowest qualifications. You only need to have a non-seasonal job in order to qualify under the “other workers” category, so most workers become eligible.

However, the EB-3 requires a PERM Labor Certification to file the I-140. The PERM requires your employer to post your job in several places and to perform a recruitment process in order to ensure that you are not taking the job of a qualified U.S. worker. 

5. What’s the difference between an EB-3 visa and an EB-3 green card?

Getting confused about visas and green cards is a common occurrence as many people think that they are different things. In reality, a green card is a visa.

A U.S. visa is an immigration vehicle that allows people to spend time in the states. There are two main types of visas - non-immigrant and immigrant. 

Non-immigrant visas are temporary and holders often return to their home countries at the end of the visa’s validation period. These include the H-1B, O-1, L-1, and E-2 visas.

In contrast, an immigrant visa is permanent. Holders are granted lawful permanent residence in the U.S., allowing them to live and work almost without restriction for an indefinite amount of time. Immigrant visas are commonly referred to as green cards due to the fact that permanent resident cards are of green colour.

So, the EB-3 visa and the EB-3 green card are actually the same, provided green cards are a type of visa.

6. What’s the difference between an EB-3 and H-1B?

As talked about in the last question, there are immigrant visas (green cards) and non-immigrant visas. 

The EB-3 is an immigrant visa and grants permanent residence to whoever holds it. The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa, allowing the holder to stay temporarily in the U.S. for work. H-1B holders typically only remain in the U.S. for a maximum span of 6 years.

Additionally, there are differences in the requirements for the EB-3 and H-1B. To qualify for an EB-3, you must either have a bachelor’s degree and a job offer or a non-seasonal full-time job offer. The H-1B requires that you have both at least a bachelor’s degree and a job offer for a position that requires your degree.

Also, the H-1B is so popular that the USCIS randomly selects the petitions that are to be processed from the large number of petitions that are submitted each year in a lottery. This means that your petition must be both randomly selected and subsequently approved in order to receive your H-1B. The EB-3 is not subject to such requirements.

However, there is an annual limit to the number of EB-3 green cards issued. Rather than a randomized lottery, the Department of State provides a priority date. You will need to wait until the priority date matches the dates that are given in the monthly visa bulletin before moving forward.

Explore the basic guide to HI-B visa

7. Can I get an EB-3 with a master’s degree?

Feel free. Having a master’s degree is great. You would qualify even under the bachelor’s degree qualification for the EB-3. 

Having an advanced degree (master’s or higher) is one of the qualifications for an EB-2, so you may consider applying for one or both.

8. Can I get an EB-3 without a degree?

Yes! There are three types of people that qualify for the EB-3.

  1. Those with a bachelor's or master’s degree
  2. Those with at least 2 years of experience in their jobs
  3. Those with less than 2 years of experience (with non-seasonal jobs)

If you fall into either of the last two categories, you can obtain an EB-3 without a degree.

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