GREEN CARD VIA A JOB OFFER (EB-3)
Are you a Foreign National without an advanced degree and you feel that you don’t qualify as a person of extraordinary or exceptional ability, but you still want a Green Card? Are you an employer looking to sponsor a foreign national for Green Card eligible employment, but your prospective employee doesn’t fit the mold of having an advanced degree and/or extraordinary or exceptional ability?
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Well, fortunately, if either of these descriptions above fit you, there are other ways to obtain Green Cards via employment. If you yourself are the foreign national, unfortunately the visas we are about to describe require a job offer in order for you to be eligible.
Who is Eligible?
If you are the employer looking to sponsor a foreign national for a Green Card eligible employment visa, you are already in the right place. There is a whole category of Green Card Eligible Visas that may fit the build for your prospective foreign national employee.
The EB-3 visa exists to give foreign nationals with permanent full-time job offers, access to lawful permanent residency in the United States and an eventual path to citizenship. If the foreign national can be described as a professional, meaning they have at least a University-level degree, they may qualify for the EB-3 Immigrant Visa under the “Professional” worker category. If the job the foreign national is being offered requires a “Skilled Worker,” meaning the offered position requires a minimum of two years’ training or work experience to be successfully performed, they may also be eligible for a Green Card under the EB-3 Immigrant Visa. Finally, there are some visas allocated for “other workers” under the EB-3 scheme. These positions are for work that requires less than two years training or work experience.
To find out if you yourself, or your prospective foreign national employee, are eligible for a visa in this EB-3 category, please play around with our employment-based visa eligibility quiz here
*Note: If you are a Chinese, Indian, or a Filipino Citizen, although you may be eligible for an EB-3 visa based on your qualifications and your offer for full-time employment in the United States, an Immigrant Visa will not be immediately available because there is currently too much demand for the EB-3 Visa from your specific country, at this time. If this is the case, you can still apply for an EB-3 Visa via an I-140, get what is called a priority date (the exact date USCIS receives your EB-3 petition), and then hopefully get approved for that Immigrant Status. Even if you are approved for an EB-3 Visa, you won’t be able to actually hold that Immigrant Status or apply for your Green Card until much time into the future (less time if you’re a Filipino than if you’re Indian or Chinese, though). Thus, if you are a national from one of these countries and you’re overseas and seeking to immigrate with your job offer, you will probably do much better to to apply for a non-immigrant H-1B Visa first (discussed briefly below), and then apply later once you’re in the United States to adjust status to that of an EB-3. If you follow that route, there are then certain special provisions in place that will allow you to be able to extend your H-1B status for longer than you normally would be able to, in order to wait for an Immigrant Visa number to become available for you; should you find yourself to be in a situation with an expiring H-1B. In any case, if you are a citizen of one of these countries, it is highly advisable to seek the help of an experienced Immigration Attorney to help you navigate this situation; which is unfortunately more delicate a process than for nationals of other countries.
*Note: If you are a Mexican Citizen, or a Citizen from El Salvador, Honduras or Guatemala, sometimes the visa numbers for EB-3 Visas are not current and the situation described in the paragraph above (relevant for Chinese, Indian, and Filipino Citizens), could be applicable to you. It is important to keep an eye on the Department of State’s monthly visa bulletin, to see if there is waiting period for EB-3 Visa spots for your nationality. This is especially the case if you’re seeking the EB-3 Immigrant Visa from abroad. Although the delays for Visas for Citizens of your country are not typically as long as those from China, India, or the Philippines, it could still delay you greatly if you are not attentive to the visa bulletin. As always, the help of an experienced Immigration Attorney can be invaluable in helping you to navigate this situation.
HAVE A UNIVERSITY DEGREE (OR EQUIVALENT) AND A JOB OFFER, BUT AREN’T SURE YOU WANT TO PERMANENTLY LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES?
Well if you otherwise meet the requirements of the EB-3 Immigrant visa for the “professional worker” category (meaning the educational requirements), then you are most likely eligible for a non-immigrant H-1B Visa. The H-1B is an easier visa to obtain than an EB-3 Visa (less stringent acceptance standards), often takes less time to get, and still enables you to live and work in the United States for a period of years (often several years). If you are a citizen of China, India, or the Philippines and you are not currently in the US (and seeking to apply from abroad for your Immigration benefits), then you especially need to consider this route (see above). Also, likewise, if you are a citizen of Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras or Guatemala, at any given point in time, applying for H-1B from abroad may make more sense than directly pursuing an EB-3 from abroad (see above). In any event, unlike most non-immigrant visas, having H-1B status is unique in that actually it will actually allow you to apply for a Green Card-eligible Employment-based Immigrant Visa later, once you’re in the United States without having to worry about problems of Immigrant Intent that can otherwise develop with other non-immigrant statuses. For more information about the H-1B Non-immigrant Visa, please click the button below:
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