​     The EB-3 green card is an employment based permanent residency. This category is specified for professional, skilled, or "other" workers. "Professionals" refers to those who have obtained their bachelor's degree.  

    "Skilled" is translated to those who have experienced in working in a distinct occupation that demands a minimum of 2 years trained. This green card is less inflexible in qualifying requirements, but there are more eligible applicants compared to EB-1 and EB-2 categories. 

                         EB-3 Eligibility Criteria













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  • PERM Labor Certification

  • Proof of education completion

  • Any additional documentation relating to the PERM Labor Certification

  • Confirmation of permanent EB-3 job offer from U.S. employer

  • Petition for Immigrant Worker (Form I-140)



  • PERM Labor Certification

  • Proof of bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent

  • Requirements of position (bachelor’s degree is mandatory)

  • Confirmation of permanent EB-3 job offer from U.S. employer

  • Petition for Immigrant Worker (Form I-140)



  • PERM Labor Certification

  • Evidence of education, work experience, or apprenticeship.

  • Proof of U.S. permanent employment offer

  • All related documents to the PERM Labor Certification

  • Petition for Immigrant Worker (Form I-140)


   Once you have all your documentation together, you will need to find an employer who is willing to sponsor you for the green card process. That employer must then go through an extensive recruitment process and determine the prevailing wage for your position in the geographical area that you will be working in order to obtain the PERM Labor Certification from the Department of Labor.

   Afterwards, your employer will need to file an I-140 petition with the USCIS. Once the petition is received, that date will mark your priority date. You will need to wait and watch the monthly visa bulletin released by the Department of State to see if your priority is “current”, meaning that it passes or matches the final action dates given in the most recent bulletin.

  It is important to note that, as of the writing of this article, most of the final action dates for the EB-3 green card are backlogged only a few months, others are backlogged several years. If you are from China or India, be prepared to wait a considerable amount of time before your priority date is current. Keep in mind that the dates for the “other workers” group vary slightly from the dates for the other two groups.

   As soon as your date is current, you can file your I-485 petition to adjust your status if you are already in the U.S. Your status will automatically switch to legal permanent resident as soon as your I-485 is approved.

Estimated time for the EB-3 to process?

The processing time can vary depending on the case, however please do keep in mind that are a number of factors that may drastically change the amount of time your EB-3 green card will take. 

  • The PERM Labor Certification process will take about 6-8 months without complications. If your employer is audited or subjected to supervised recruitment, this time could potentially increase to two years.

  • The I-140 takes an average of 3-6 months depending on the caseload of the Service Center that is processing the petition.

  • The I-485 may take an average of 4-6 months to process as well. This step cannot be expedited by premium processing.

    If 6 months is a long time to wait, you can wait, you have the option to pay the extra fee to use premium processing, a service that shortens your processing time by 15 calendar days. Work with your EB-3 green card attorney to determine what you will be able to expect from your processing time. 

Are there any EB-3 Fees?

  • The I-140 basic filing fee is $700.

  • The I-485 filing fee varies depending on your age. Everyone in between needs to pay a fee of $1,225 (including the biometric services fee) 

  • If you are using premium processing with your I-140, the fee is $1,440. 

  • Attorney fees vary from firm to firm, you can see our flat charge for EB-3 green cards on our fees page.

  • If you are going through consular processing, you will need to factor in the fee for the DS-260, which is $325, You will also need to consider the cost of travel as well.

What about the EB-3 interview process?

   If you are currently located outside the US, you will need to go through consular processing instead. This will require for you to go to the US consulate and Embassy in your home country and participate in a one on one interview with a consular officer. The DS-260 online immigrant visa application must be completed. 

You should print out both the confirmation page for your DS-260 and the receipt for your payment and bring those to the interview along with:

  • Your passport

  • Your ID

  • Two passport-style photos

  • Your I-797 Notice of Approval from the USCIS

  • Your appointment notification letter

  • Any supporting documents for your green card.

EB-3 Green Card Renewal 

 When issued, your EB-3 will be valid for 10 years. Keep in mind that this is not like renewing a nonimmigrant visa, where you need to submit a new petition and essentially re-qualify for the visa.


 You simply  need to file an I-90 request to have your green card renewed for a fee of $455 plus an $85 biometrics fee. This is also the process if your green card has been lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed and you need a replacement.

EB-3 to Citizenship

 Once you have your EB-3 Green Card you might be satisfied or even feel eager to continue your immigration journey by becoming an US Citizen, which come with the following advantages:

  • You will be able to work as a federal government employee 

  • You can sponsor your family members for green cards at a higher preference level

  • You can vote in primary elections

  • You no longer have to renew your immigration status

  • You cannot be deported from the U.S


These are few main reasons why an EB-3 Green Card Petition may get denied or rejected: 

  • The filing fee was incorrectly submitted 

  • There was inconsistent, incomplete, or inaccurate information on the petition

  • You failed the background check 

  • Your position did not satisfy the requirements for the EB-3 green card

  • Your employer did not satisfy the requirements for the EB-3 green card

For the first 2 items on the list, it will most likely be rejected, which simply means that it was sent back due to a superficial issue. The best thing to do is to work closely with your immigration attorney to fix the mistake and refile your petition.

 Now for the other following reasons, the situation will be more serious. A denial means that, after being throughly examined by an immigration officer, your petition was denied based on the merits of your case. Your options here are to either refile with more or different supporting evidence, appeal the decision through the Administrative Appeals Office, or to make a legal motion to reconsider or reopen your case.


 The process of becoming a citizen is called naturalization, which will requires you to file an N-400 form with USCIS. Provided that you meet the requirements, which include living in the US as a legal permanent resident for a minimum of 5 years, you will be asked to come into a service center for an interview and have an exam, that tests your knowledge of American government, history, and your grasp the English Language. 

 Once you pass the exam and interview, you with need to swear an oath of allegiance to the US before becoming an official U.S. citizen.

 As an aside, while the N-400 may be $640 plus an $85 biometrics fee, which seems more expensive than the EB-3 green card renewal fee, you only need to pay this once as opposed to the green card renewal fee, which must be paid every decade.