Green Card for Workers with Bachelors' Degrees


Immigration Desk helps US employers sponsor foreign nationals who have Bachelors' degrees, are skilled or unskilled workers, to fill long-term jobs using the EB-3 green card category.

Employment Based Green Card: Third Preference

Eligibility for EB3

US companies can sponsor their foreign national employees for EB-3 green cards if they are:

  • Professionals with Bachelors' degrees in specialized or professional fields, or
  • Skilled workers with 2 or more years of post-high school education, training, or experience, or
  • Unskilled workers with less than 2 years of post-high school education, training, or experience

In addition, the US employer must show that they can pay the employee a salary comparable to what other US workers in that job make.

We routinely help US employers file green cards for their employees using the EB-3 category. For a detailed analysis of your case, please reach out to our attorneys here. It would be our pleasure to help!

The Filing Process

To get green cards in the EB-3 category, the US employer must complete a 3-part legal process. The employer files PERM (Step I) with the Department of Labor (DOL), and after it is approved, files Step II with the USCIS.

  • Filing with PERM
    A PERM application is filed with the Department of Labor. The employer conducts a test of the local labor market and proves to the Department of Labor that there is shortage of workers with skills similar to those of the foreign national in his area. This test is done by a very strict “recruitment drive” established by the Department of Labor. (For details about the PERM process see our PERM page here.)
  • Filing without PERM
    Sometimes a test of the job market is not needed because the shortage of that type of workers is already known. For these positions, a PERM application does not need to be filed. These jobs are called the “Schedule A Occupations”.
  • I-140 petition is filed with the USCIS
    After the Department of Labor certifies the PERM, the US employer files for a green card (I-140 petition) with the USCIS. This petition is a request by the employer to hire the foreign national for their long-term position. The USCIS evaluates the foreign national’s professional qualifications to make sure that he qualifies for the job.
  • Foreign National Files I-485 / CP
    This is the final step toward obtaining a green card. If the foreign national is present in the US, he files an adjustment petition with the USCIS. If he is overseas, he files this last step with the Department of State (US consulate). The government approves this step after examining the foreign national’s background. If the foreign national has a criminal record, has entered the US illegally, has connection to terrorist organizations or certain diseases, he can be denied the green card. Visit our I-485 page for details.

  • Delays in Processing
    Since getting green cards through work is the most sought after category, there are always more people applying than spots. US immigration law limits how many people get green cards in each category, each year. They also limit how many people from each country can come in a year and also the total number of people can come each year.

    This creates a complicated quota system. When the quota for one year is filled, the remaining applications are processed in the next years quota, which in turn creates a backlog for countries from where a lot of people are immigrating. That is why it takes many year for foreign nationals from Mexico, China, India and Philippines-- sometimes over 10 years -- to complete this last step to get a green card.

  • Green cards issued in the EB-3 category are usually valid for 10 years and can be extended.
  • Green card holders can also file for citizenship 5 years after obtaining their green cards.
  • Spouses and minor children get their green cards along with the foreign national.
  • Foreign nationals who are working on H1B, H2s and H3 temporary work visas usually qualify for EB-3 green cards.

To read updated timeline and fee details for the EB-3 category, please visit the USCIS website here.

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Benefits of the EB-3 Green Card

Most of the employment-based green cards filed are in either EB-2 or EB-3 categories.

Even though filing for an EB-3 employment-based green card is a lengthy process, that can end up taking many years to complete, this is a sure way of getting a green card for foreign nationals who are employed in the US.

An advantage of filing in the EB-3 category is that the person being sponsored does not have to be a "professional". Entry level employees may qualify. Employees with only a few years of experience or a high school diploma may also qualify. They do not need to have 4-year college degrees, or be working in specialized fields. People at grocery stores, retail establishments, hospitality and tourism industries and many other industries qualify.

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Proving an EB-3 Case

Most of our EB-3 clients are US employers filing for foreign nationals they already employ with a temporary work visa.

The most important thing to watch for when filing for a EB-3 green card is to make sure that there is no US worker who has the qualifications and wants the job. If, during the PERM process, the Department of Labor finds that there are qualified US workers, the green card cannot be filed.

Also, in industries that hire a lot of seasonal skilled or unskilled workers, it is important to make sure the employer is able to pay the wage that the Department of Labor decides. Since there are always many more filers than available green cards, it takes many years to get a green card through EB-3 filings. For all the years the petition is pending, the employer must be able to show that they have sufficient income to afford the foreign national’s salary.

Also, starting the green card well before the foreign national’s temporary work visa expires is very important. If the temporary work visa expires and the I-140 for the green card is not approved, the foreign national may be required to leave the country and will not be able to return for a lengthy time period.

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The Immigration Desk Solution

With over 2 decades of experience in work based immigration, we have helped many US employers get green cards for their foreign national employees. We routinely file EB-3 green cards for IT professionals and for other professional services. At the same time, we also help clients in service industries such as hospitality and tourism industries, hospitals and educational facilities file for EB-3 petitions for their employees.

We help larger employers file for green cards of several employees at the same time. We also help small business owners file for their employees and also help foreign nationals who want their own attorney.

We find that the needs of our larger clients differ from that of our smaller business clients. In addition to filing the immigrant petition, our larger clients often need our help with document collection or to work with their in-house human resource teams to streamline the process for PERM recruitment. Our small-business clients usually need help learning the regulations and how to make sure that they will comply. They also need help with setting up accounts, and often times, additional guiding and mentoring, which we are always happy to do.

As part of our service, we help our clients keep an eye on the timelines so the cases progresse efficiently, charge on a flat fee basis so our clients are always certain of what the green card will cost and guide our clients through a process that is complicated and time sensitive.

Our personalized services are designed to help all our clients file green card with ease, on-time and cost-effectively. We take pride in making this process easy. Please feel free to reach us to explore how our decades long practice can make immigration easy for you. We look forward to hearing from you!

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