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Why Haven’t I heard of EB3 Before?

October 23, 2017

What is the Purpose of EB3?

People often wonder why they have not heard of EB3 before. It seems so simple – a great solution to dealing with a very complicated immigration system. They have explored almost every immigration option. They have hired attorneys, advisors and consultants, and none of them have ever mentioned EB3. The fact of the matter is that EB3 is a commonly used immigration program for companies in the US that understand the program. In short, unlike most other immigration opportunities that are initiated by the immigrant, EB3, by definition, must be initiated by a US employer. This fact makes it more of an “under the radar” immigration program.

First, let me dispel the biggest myth: EB3 is not commonly used. In fact, EB3 is one of the highest visa issuance categories in the US. Last year, in 2016, there were 64,000 EB3 applicants of which almost 9,000 were unskilled. There are very few, if any, permanent green card programs larger than EB3.

The main reason why EB3 is not often suggested as an immigration option by immigration attorneys and consultants is because it is an employer based (“EB”) immigration program, which essentially means that the employer must initiate the application process. If you are a foreign national seeking permanent residency in the US, EB3 is not an option for you unless you have an employer sponsor, who understands the program, is involved in the program, has jobs that qualify for the program and is willing to navigate the government application process on behalf of a foreign national. In short, foreign nationals interested in a permanent residency by way of EB3 need to find an employer who meets all of these criteria, or EB3 is otherwise not an option.

Fundamentally, the purpose of EB3 is to provide US business who have a proven labor shortage a means of hiring foreign nationals to work legally in those jobs in which they have labor shortages. When the immigration laws were revised in 1990, the US government understood that several industries, such as food processing, commercial cleaning, nursing and physical therapy had a severe shortage of US workers.

During the revision of the US immigration laws at that time, the government added the EB3 program as a means for these types of industries to recruit and hire foreign nationals to fill those jobs for which US workers were not available. Thus, EB3 immigration was born.