Helping Employers Understand the Immigration Requirements for Skilled and Unskilled Workers and Professionals
Having enough workers to handle your business’s needs is crucial to protecting profits and ensuring efficient operations. But what if you’re not able to fulfill your workforce needs with employees already in the United States? It may be time to start thinking about hiring those outside the country by sponsoring them through an EB-3 visa.
If you aren’t able to find the workers you need within the United States, it may be beneficial to your business to look for international workers who are eligible to come to the United States on an EB-3 visa. Contact our firm to find out how this option works and what you need to be aware of before starting the process.
What Is the Purpose of the EB-3 visa?
The purpose of the EB-3 visa is to provide an immigration option for certain workers to be able to come to the United States for employment. It is a third preference employment-based visa, which means that it is in the middle of the priority scale for all the employment-based visa options. The EB-3 visa is beneficial for employers as well because it gives them an option to hire more employees if they aren’t able to find the help they need within the United States.
What Are the Categories of Workers Who Qualify for an EB-3 Visa?
Every employment-based visa has specific criteria for who is eligible for immigration to the United States under that visa option. The EB-3 visa is open to workers that fall into one of three categories:
- Skilled workers: Requires workers to have at least 2 years of training and/or experience, including a college degree in some cases
- Professionals: Requires that the person needs at least a baccalaureate degree or the foreign equivalent to do the job and be a member of an industry-relevant professional organization.
- Other workers: Category for unskilled laborers who require less than 2 years of training and/or experience to be able to perform their jobs — these jobs cannot be seasonal or temporary
These categories are fairly broad, which means more workers may qualify under the EB-3 visa, but it’s still a good idea to talk with an immigration attorney to discuss your options before filing a Petition for Alien Worker as an employer.
What Is the Process of Applying for an EB-3 Visa?
Employers must file a petition for an EB-3 visa on behalf of the prospective employee because the business acts as the sponsor for this visa. The first step is for the employer to get a PERM labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. This is an important part of the process because it ensures that the employer has met the requirements to ensure that hiring foreign workers doesn’t impact or sidestep job availability for those in the United States.
Some of the requirements to get a PERM labor certification include ensuring the job posting was open to U.S. workers and that any U.S. workers who were not hired for the position were rejected on legitimate grounds. The employer must also show that the salary for the job is in line with market value and that hiring foreign workers isn’t an attempt to pay lower wages.
Once the employer has obtained a PERM labor certification and filed the Petition for Alien Worker, there will be a wait while the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office processes the file. There may be additional information requested to ensure the worker is eligible for this visa. If the petition is approved, the worker will be able to enter the United States and apply for permanent resident status.
How Long Do I Have to Wait for an EB-3 Visa to Be Processed?
Wait times for visas vary greatly, depending on how many visas are in line to be processed at the time of the application. EB-3 visas, in particular, can take a year or more from application to approval. This is primarily because there is a cap of 140,000 employment-based visas every year, and both EB-1 and EB-2 visa applications have priority over EB-3 visas. How long it takes for a visa to be processed can also change based on what country the foreign worker is coming from, as some countries are given a higher priority than others.
Will I Lose My Status If I Change Jobs?
While there is no specific requirement for how long someone has to work for the employer that sponsored their EB-3 visa, changing jobs quickly after being approved is a red flag for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In some cases, this could open the door to accusations of fraud. If someone was found to have lied on a visa application and they actually had no intent of ever actually working for the company once they were in the United States, this could be grounds to have a Green Card rescinded. If you have questions about how long you need to work for an employer or what happens to your permanent resident status if you need to change jobs, an attorney can help.
Immigration requirements in the United States are strict, and the procedures in place mean it can take weeks or months for an employee’s EB-3 visa to be approved. Contact the law firm of Badmus & Associates to find out what you can do to expedite this process and what to expect when you’re planning on hiring a foreign worker with an EB-3 visa. Call our office at 214-393-4917 to schedule your initial meeting to discuss your situation and find out if our firm is a good fit.