EB-3 Skilled Workers/Basic Degree Holders

The third employment preference is for skilled workers, professionals holding basic degrees and ‘other workers’. There are 40,000 visas available in this category with 10,000 of them reserved for ‘unskilled’ workers.

EB-3 Skilled Workers/Basic Degree Holders

‘Skilled’ worker means an applicant who is capable, at the time of petitioning for this classification, of performing skilled labor (requiring at least two years training or experience) not of a temporary or seasonal nature for which qualified workers are not available in the United States. Relevant post-secondary education may be considered as training for the purposes of this provision.

‘Professional’ means a qualified alien who holds at least a United States baccalaureate degree or an equivalent degree and who is a member of the professions.

‘Other worker’ means a qualified alien who is capable, at the time of petitioning for this classification, of performing unskilled labor (requiring less than two years training or experience), not of a temporary or seasonal nature, for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.

All petitions filed in the EB-3 category require a job offer and a labor certification, now called PERM. The requirement of a labor certification is essentially a statement from the Department of Labor that there are no qualified available US workers willing to fill the position offered and has been part of US immigration law since 1965. Before then an immigrant worker could not be excluded unless the Attorney General issued a statement saying that there was no shortage of US workers and that admission of the alien workers would harm the position of US workers. The labor certification applies to all workers in the EB-3 preference category and most workers in the EB-2 category. Aliens in the EB-1 preference are exempt from the requirement.

The question answered by the labor certification is whether there are any “able, willing, qualified, and available” US workers. US workers include citizens, permanent residents, and anyone authorized to work in the US whose work authorization is not tied to a specific employer. In most labor certifications, the qualified US worker need only meet the minimum qualifications for the position. The exceptions are for teachers at colleges and universities and aliens of exceptional ability in the performing arts, in which the US worker must be as qualified as the alien worker.

Learn more about the Permanent Labor Certification or contact us with any questions.

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