EB-3 Visa Timeline Compared to Other Visa Types

BDV Solutions
December 29, 2022

EB3 visas are a better option for those in pursuit of fast processing, simple qualifications, and overall flexibility. The EB3 visa category also offers a Green Card pathway, making it a great option for applicants personally seeking longevity and permanent immigration solutions for their dependents.  

Compared to other visa options, EB-3 applicants undergo a more direct and relatively quick processing time. Instead of spending years to obtain a family-based visa or starting an H1B visa and then switching to E1 or E2, EB3 is an immigrant-visa that could be adjudicated in 1-3 years.  

With the EB3 visa, the lengthy timeline needed for verifying work and education histories are eliminated as the category does not require those provisions for qualification. In contrast, visas such as H1B and H2B do require those qualifications and that information may take months to verify for applicants on top of additional requirements.

An adjustment of status from F1 or H1B visas is a feasible option for applicants looking to pursue an immigrant visa like EB3, while continuously working through the non-immigrant visa. Adjustment of status cases yield a faster processing time than Consular cases from outside of the United States. Consular cases, in addition to processing from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), are required to also process through The State Department. At US embassies abroad, in consideration of an ongoing global pandemic, processing times have significantly increased from before 2019. At BDV, utilizing advocacy tools that assist with the processing and adjudication are critical when working to push casework through the pipeline.  

In 2019, The Department of Labor processed labor certifications within approximately 4-6 months. In November 2022, that same process takes 8.5 months, with optimal circumstances, and is steadily increasing. At USCIS, processing is different for every applicant. Work authorizations (I-765 Employment Authorization Document) are processed within 12-18 months, and Green Cards take approximately 2-4 years to obtain. With permanent residency being the goal for many applicants, this situation is ideal as they are able to emigrate and begin working in the US while waiting for a Green Card.

To mitigate the effects of increases with processing delays, BDV works to improve and influence policies at every workable level. At government agencies, it is critical that for categories like EB3, we advocate for processes that use the strengths and capabilities of processors, improve technology, and make the process quicker for applicants. This category has a significant impact on the U.S. economy as many of the unskilled workers in these roles are filling positions that uphold the structure and stability of the US economy.