How to Apply for an EB3 Work Visa

A visa is an authorization that allows you to stay in a country aside from your home country officially. The US is one of the most popular countries for immigration in the world. Every year, millions of people apply to emigrate to the United States via various immigration routes. One such visa route is the EB3 work visa.

This is an Employment-Based Immigration category for skilled workers, professionals, and other categories of workers. This post explains all you need to know about this visa category and how to apply for it.

What is an EB3 visa?

EB3 Visa stands for Third Preference Employment-Based Visa. It is a permanent employment-based visa that allows immigrants to work and live in the US permanently. Only about 40,000 EB3 visas are issued every year. The visa is a third priority type granted to unskilled workers, skilled workers, and professionals.

The classification is based on the number of work or training years. Unskilled workers refer to people with less than two (2) years of work experience. Others that have worked for a minimum of two years can claim to be skilled workers. Professionals are people with a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent and have a license to work.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for this visa in the first place, you must have already secured a valid permanent job in the US. The job must have been non-seasonal and non-temporary. Other eligibility requirements for the EB3 work visa are:

1. Proof that you (as a worker) have the necessary education, experience, and skills to meet the job requirements.

2. The US employer must be able to get a PERM Labor Certification. This certification determines if the employer can bring foreign workers into the country. The PERM labor certification confirms that:

  • The employer is financially capable of catering to the immigrant worker
  • Proof that they could not get a qualified and willing US citizen for the role

Good health is a major criterion for this visa category too. The implication of this is that you must meet all the necessary health requirements to be eligible to apply. This may require getting certain vaccines and reports from a licensed healthcare provider.

How to Apply for it

The EB3 visa application must be done at both the employer’s and worker’s ends. The US employer has to go through a process to get an approved labor certificate. This certificate gives them the right to hire foreign workers.

How to Apply for EB3 Work Visa as a Foreign Worker

To officially start the application procedure, you must complete the DS-261 form. It is an online visa application form available in your home country. The form is specifically for potential immigrant workers intending to move to the US based on work. The successful completion and submission of this form give you access to a confirmation page. You must send the page to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing.

While waiting for NVC approval, you can get the other necessary documents ready. You must send them to NVC once your DS-261 application form has been approved. The documents are vital to support your application, and they include the following:

  • A valid passport (whose validity period covers at least six months after you get into the US)
  • An employment letter (provided by your US employer)
  • The approved petition and labor certification
  • Medical (including vaccination) documents appropriately signed by a licensed medical practitioner.
  • Relevant academic certificates
  • CV (or Resume)
  • Photographs that meet the standards of the US Visa requirements (2)
  • Court or criminal records

You should note that exceptional cases may require additional supporting documents as well. An interview at the US embassy will be scheduled for you once your submitted documents have been verified. The official attending to you will assess you to decide whether you will be fit to obtain the work visa and pass a verdict on your application.

Benefits of the EB3 Work Visa

An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is an official document that shows that you are eligible to work in the US for a certain period. Ideally, every employee must have it regardless of their citizenship origin. The EB3 visa allows immigrant workers to stay permanently in the country with an EAD.

The workers can freely travel inside and outside the country. They can even choose to live in a state different from where they arrived. You can switch your role after you have worked for a few years at the job that brought you in. Also, you can decide to change jobs entirely. The visa grants an eligible immigrant permanent residency in the country.

EB3 Visa Denial

It is worth noting that not all EB3 visa applications are approved. Reasons for denial often include fraud or misrepresentation of material facts during the application and interview process.

You must provide authentic documentation and accurate information during your application process. Failure to do this can ruin the chances of getting your visa approved. Applicants with criminal records in their home country or a visa infraction of any kind may also be rejected.


For the success of your EB3 visa application and any other immigration application, you should work with an immigration lawyer. Your lawyer will provide all the information you need about your application and assist you with filing the correct documentation. Working with an immigration lawyer increases the chances of a successful EB3 visa application.

Employment Law Updates
Laws change in a moment. Sign up to stay informed.
Employment Law Updates
Laws change in a moment. Sign up to stay informed.

Have employees in more than one state? SUBSCRIBE HERE!

Have employees in more than one state? SUBSCRIBE HERE!