Many international students begin to stress about their work options after graduation much before their American born counterparts. Why? Well, the common belief is that to stay in the United States after they graduate, international students must be sponsored for a job, either through OPT or through the H1B program. Most students focus their plans on this path, but there are alternatives for international students who decide, after moving to the United States, that it is a place they want to stay longer term.
There is the traditional path of OPT to H1B to immigrant visa petition, but that is not the only option for F1 visa holders. The EB-3 visa is an immigrant visa process that provides a green card to the applicant and their dependents.
Traditionally the EB-3 visa was mainly a visa journey embarked on by foreign nationals living outside of the United States. Now, a rising number of applicants for this visa type are adjusting their status from an F1 visa to the EB3 visa while staying in the United States through the entire process. Even H1B, L1, H4, and F2 holders are going through this process.
Through applying for the EB-3 visa while in the United States on a current non-immigrant visa, the applicant can continue their intended use of their non-immigrant visa while going through their immigrant visa petition. The process for those adjusting their status is generally shorter than those who do Consular Processing from outside of the United States.
So what exactly is the EB-3 visa? Well, the EB-3 visa is split into two categories: skilled and unskilled. The skilled category requires at least two years of job experience and includes skilled roles that are experiencing a labor shortage, such as nursing. The unskilled category requires no experience or degree requirements and includes unskilled roles that are experiencing a labor shortage, such as restaurant work, janitorial services, packing, and manufacturing.
The EB-3 visa program is rapidly gaining interest among international students because it’s path to a U.S. Green Card is more clear and direct than other visa types.
If this is your first introduction to the EB3 visa, share this blog with a friend or family member so that they can learn about it too! The EB3 visa is a great visa type for many who are in the United States on a non-immigrant visa currently and for those living outside of the United States.
To learn more about this program, go here.