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The Definitive Guide to EB-3 Unskilled Visa Application Guide: Is It Right for You?

The EB-3 unskilled visa is a ray of hope for unskilled workers globally, allowing them to become permanent residents and find employment in the USA. However, the application process has paperwork, deadlines, and legal intricacies. Getting a green card takes a lot of work. This is where this EB-3 Unskilled Visa Application guide comes into play.

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Drafted by the immigration experts at InvestMigrate, this all-inclusive guide seeks to answer your questions about EB-3 visas. Whether you are still weighing your options or are knee-deep in the US visa application process, find a detailed step-by-step guide in this book. From who is eligible up to the final interview stage, we provide insights gained from our vast experience and helpful hints and checklists for each requirement.

What is the EB-3 Visa?

What does the term EB-3 visa refer to? It is a form of immigrant visa in the United States that allows foreign nationals to stay and work there permanently. This visa is for people with specific skills or job offers from U.S. employers who sponsor them.

The EB-3 visa category has three subcategories:

  1. EB-3 Unskilled Worker (EW): For individuals who perform unskilled labor in the United States. This means jobs that usually require less than two years of training experience.

  2. EB-3 Skilled Worker (SW): For people whose jobs require at least two years of training/work experience but not necessarily a bachelor's degree

  3. EB-3 Professional (PW): For those whose jobs require a bachelor's degree or its foreign equivalent.

Eligibility Requirements: A Detailed Breakdown

To qualify for this visa, you must fulfill the eligibility requirements of EB-3 Unskilled Worker (EW), which include:

  • Permanent, Full-Time Job Offer: An American employer should offer a permanent full-time offer.

  • Unskilled Labor Ability: One should show the necessary experience or skills to perform such duties.

  • Training/experience not more than two years: The job should not demand training/experience beyond 24 months.

  • Availability of qualified US workers: The employer has to warrant that no eligible workers among Americans can take up this position.

Self-Assessment Checklist:

To qualify for a U.S. employer's EB-3 visa for unskilled workers, ask yourself the subsequent questions:

  • Do I have a permanent, full-time job offer from an American company?

  • I have the necessary experience and skills to do this work.

  • Is there less than two years’ worth of training or experience required for the position?

  • Has the employer made efforts to determine if any qualified U.S. workers are available and willing to accept such employment opportunities but have yet to find them?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, you will likely qualify as an unskilled worker eligible under the third preference immigration category ( EB-3 Visa). 

InvestMigrate's Tips:

  • Thoroughly study the job's needs and ensure your abilities and experience meet them.

  • Gather documents showing your past jobs, education level, and any other form of training, such as letters from former employers or certificates or diplomas earned.

  • Navigating this complex legal process may require hiring an experienced immigration lawyer who can advise maximizing one's chances of winning.

Navigating the EB-3 Visa Process: Your Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Job Certification (PERM)

The first phase of the EB-3 visa process is the Program Electronic Review Management (PERM). It is the most critical step in the entire journey. This step ensures that hiring an immigrant will not adversely affect wages or working conditions for other equally employed U.S. workers.

Steps Involved: 

  1. Job Posting: To attract American employees, the employer has to advertise this position in newspapers and online platforms where jobs are posted.

  2. Recruitment: A good faith recruitment effort should be made. This means that the employer should review resumes received after placing the advert, interview potential candidates, and document why each person was or was not considered qualified for selection concerning the required skills set out by the job description.

  3. Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD): Before filing an immigration petition for any foreign national worker, their sponsor must go through the Department of Labour (DOL) process called prevailing wage determination request. A PWD refers to a minimum salary level set under a complex formula that considers the location of duties, also defined using government sources such as the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) Occupational Employment Survey (OES).

  4. Submission: According to law, once these steps are completed satisfactorily, potential employers must document and retain them and then file them electronically with the appropriate service center.

InvestMigrate's Tips:

  • The PERM process can take several months, so starting as early as possible is essential.

  • Ensure that all documentation is accurate and complete to avoid delays or denials.

  • An immigration lawyer can guide you through the intricacies of the PERM process and increase your chances of success.

Step 2: Applying (I-140) 

After getting your PERM application authorized, your employer must fill out form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker) with USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). This petition is meant to prove that you qualify for the EB-3 visa category and that your employer can pay the offered wage.

Documents needed include:

  1. A certified copy of the PERM Labor Certification

  2. Job offer letter

  3. Evidence of your qualifications, such as, but not limited to, degrees earned during academic pursuits, may be supported by transcripts received from different learning institutions attended by an applicant supplemented further with letters showing recommendations written on his behalf while seeking employment.

  4. Employer’s financial records.

InvestMigrate's Tips:

  • Keep your employer updated and ensure they know what to do.

  • It is better to start gathering the necessary papers earlier to avoid being late.

  • Check all the documents for mistakes or inaccuracies before sending them with your application.

  • It's essential to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to assess your eligibility and determine the most suitable filing strategy for your case.

Step 3: NVC Processing and Document Submission

After getting the approval letter for Form I-140, your case will be transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will collect visa fees and required documents for processing. One of the most crucial documents you'll need to complete during this stage is Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application.

Form DS-260: Immigrant Visa Electronic Application

This is the online application form you must submit to the U.S. Department of State. It collects your personal information, background details, and other information relevant to your visa application.

  • Accessing Form DS-260: After the NVC has received your case, you can access the DS-260 through the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website.

  • Completing Form DS-260: Ensure that all information provided in the DS-260 is accurate and consistent with the information on your other supporting documents. Any discrepancies can cause delays in your application processing.

Supporting Documents:

  • Birth certificate

  • Passport

  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)

  • Police certificates

  • Financial documents

  • Medical examination results

IMPORTANT: ALREADY LIVING IN THE U.S.? If you are currently living in the United States and are applying for an EB-3 green card, your process will differ from those applying from abroad. Instead of submitting the DS-260 form through the National Visa Center (NVC), you will file Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) directly with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For a detailed guide on adjusting your status to permanent residency through the EB-3 category while in the U.S., please refer to this comprehensive article.

InvestMigrate's Tips:

  • Make a comprehensive list of everything you need so that you won’t miss out on anything.

  • Organize all your papers in a way that is easy to understand.

  • Follow the directions the NVC gave for submitting documents; do this very carefully.

Step 4: The Visa Interview: Preparation is Key

The visa interview is a crucial step in the process. You can demonstrate to the consular officer that you are eligible for the EB-3 visa.

How to Prepare:

  • Take the time to go through your application form and supporting docume­nts thoroughly. Familiarize yourself with all the information and de­tails you have provided.

  • Prepare re­sponses to questions the inte­rviewer may ask about your work expe­rience, educational background, and re­asons for immigrating to the United States. Practice­ answering clearly and confidently.

  • First impressions are essential. Make­ sure you dress professionally and ne­atly for the interview. This shows re­spect and seriousness towards the­ process.

InvestMigrate's Tips:

  • Practice answering interview questions with a friend or family member.

  • An immigration lawyer can provide personalized guidance and mock interview sessions to help you feel confident and prepared.

Step 5: Visa Approval and Arrival in the U.S.: Your New Beginning

When your visa request gets the green light, you'll receive the official visa document that allows you to enter the United States. 

Visa Approval and Arrival/Adjustment of Status:

Whether you receive your visa through consular processing abroad or adjust your status within the U.S., the result is the same – you become a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

Upon arrival with an immigrant visa or approval of your adjustment of status application, you will be welcomed as a legal permanent resident. You can begin your new life in the United States.

Getting Over Obstacles

Having a firm knowledge of the EB-3 visa and being guided properly can help simplify things.  

Somewhat surprisingly, the EB-3 visa has some of the highest rates of denials compared to other popular work visas. Having an immigration lawyer for consultation and guidance can help your case significantly and bring higher approval rates. Common issues and how to avoid them:

Handling Delays And Denials:

If your application gets delayed or denied, do not be disheartened. You should find an immigration lawyer who has dealt with similar cases before so that they may tell you what caused the delay or denial. Then, seek advice on possible solutions like appealing against the decision within the given timeframe or refilling the entire EB-3 visa application again.


You must act quickly because most rejections come with strict deadlines for filing an appeal, which would require starting the process from scratch if missed.

Why You Need Professional Advice:

The process for obtaining this type of work permit is too complex for someone without legal training or experience to handle alone; however, our skilled professionals at InvestMigrate can assist every step along the way, starting from document collection up until interview preparation, thereby saving both time and money while at the same time relieving you of unnecessary stress brought about by doing it yourself and significantly boosting your chances of success.

You Can Begin Your Permanent Residency Journey Now!

Obtaining a green card through the EB-3 visa application can be a life-changing opportunity in the United States. You can be a permanent resident in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Although it may be overwhelming initially, this guide has everything required for success at every stage. 

It’s essential to be prepared, pay close attention to even the most minor things, and act quickly. Learn who qualifies, go through the process step by step, and ensure you address any potential obstacles ahead of time so that nothing stands between you and your American dream.

Our goal is your success! We have a team of professionals with the knowledge needed for a smooth application process under the EB-3 visa category. 

Contact InvestMigrate and let us start this life-changing journey together!



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