For foreign nationals already in the United States, the EB3 process has two distinct phases: (1) Labor Certification; and (2) Employment-based visa / Adjustment of status. Labor Certification The Labor Certification phase is done through the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and usually takes six to nine months from the date of filing. The burden of this phase falls on the employer, who has to show that they have been unable to find American workers for the position so that they may hire the intending immigrant. The Employer will have to do a “Labor Market Test,” to receive approval from the DOL before they can file a Labor Certification application.
Employment-based Visa (EB) The EB phase begins once the Labor Certification has been approved and is done through the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). This phase includes what is called a “concurrent filing.” The “concurrent filing” includes an I-140 which is filed by your employer to show they would like to sponsor you, an I-765 (Work Authorization form) which will give you the right to work in the United States, and an I-485 (Adjustment of Status form) which will lead to a green card. The I-140 will not give you any special rights other than to apply for work authorization and to adjust status. It usually takes around nine months from the date of filing to receive Work Authorization, and around two years from the date of filing to receive approval for a green card.
Once your Work Authorization has been approved, you can begin working for your employer. The total time from filing the Labor Certification Application to getting a green card will, therefore, take around two-and-one-half to three years. However, all cases move at different speeds and the cases can take shorter or even longer.