Employment-Based Third Preference (EB-3) Categories

Professionals, Skilled Workers, and Other Workers

The employment-based third preference category includes professionals, skilled workers, and other workers.

  1. Professionals—Baccalaureate degree (or foreign equivalent degree) and persons who are members of the professions.
  2. Skilled Workers—Full-time permanent job requiring at least two years of training or work experience. Relevant post-secondary education may be considered as training
  3. Other Workers—Includes foreign nationals with less than 2 years of training and work experience.

Labor Certification is needed for all third preference categories. An NIW is not available for  EB-3. However, a particular occupation may fall under Schedule A of the DOL regulations in which case a labor market test is not required but the applicant must submit an ETA Form 9089 and meet other requirements when filing the Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.

A foreign national must have a U.S. degree or foreign equivalent degree to qualify as an EB-3 professional. A foreign degree must be analyzed to determine if it is equivalent to a U.S. degree. Generally 3-year bachelor’s degree is not equivalent to U.S. bachelor’s degree. Note that  bachelor’s degree or “foreign degree equivalent” for purposes of defining a professional means one foreign degree equivalent and not a combination of degrees. USCIS looks to the Electronic Database for Global Education (EDGE) to determine whether a foreign degree is equivalent to a U.S. degree. Although not allowed for EB-3 professional, the EB-3 skilled worker category does permit bachelor’s degree equivalency based on education and experience.