How to Determine the Legitimacy of an EB3 Program
September 11, 2017
How to Avoid EB3 Immigration Fraud
There are several companies currently acting as Sponsors that are seeking workers through the EB3 Preference. There are also several law firms and immigration agents offering EB3 Immigration services, especially in Southeast Asia where the market is very mature. There are several ways to determine the viability and validity of an EB3 Sponsorship to immigrate to the United States. It is very common, especially in the overseas market, to have an immigration consultant or agent marketing an EB3 Sponsorship opportunity. Determining the quality of the agent or consultant is paramount. Agents from the United States or those associated with a law firm or consultant from the United States, or Canada are governed by US law. They will not only have a better understanding of the US immigration system, but will also be subject to the higher US standards governing immigration processing.
No Fees Can Be Paid to the Sponsor
It is against US law for an immigrant to pay the Sponsor any money, fees or in-kind contributions, nor can the immigrant agree to work for a lower wage than the prevailing wage determined by the US government. Any EB3 immigration opportunity that suggests fees are being paid to the Sponsor or that the immigrant will work for less than the prevailing wage will not qualify for EB3 immigration. Programs that have these characteristics are fraudulent.
Research Your Attorney
There is no more valid way to know whether EB3 Sponsorship is legitimate than to determine the legitimacy of the attorney who will handle your case. You should research (Google) the attorney and the law firm to determine the reputation of both. Generally speaking, you should find an EB3 Sponsorship with an attorney and a law firm with demonstrable immigration experience and a significant ongoing immigration practice. The larger the law firm is the more likely the law firm has significant immigration experience and significant staff and resources to work your case the most efficiently. Size is also an indication of reputation with US law firms.
Research the Industry
Each Sponsor should be in an industry that generally has a labor shortage in the United States. Nursing for instance is considered by the US government to always have a labor shortage and special rules apply to nurses being sponsored under EB3. Other industries with historic labor shortages include meat and poultry processing and packing, general packing, cleaning and janitorial. The US government has historically processed a significant number of EB3 cases in the poultry processing industry and you should consider this one of the safest industries for an EB3 Sponsorship. As mentioned earlier, nursing is probably the only other industry that the US government absolutely agrees there is a labor shortage.
Understand the Fees
EB3 Processing can be difficult, complex and time consuming; therefore, there can be significant fees required to process your case. It is important to first determine that no fees are being paid to the Sponsor. Second, the EB3 opportunity should outline clearly what the attorney is being paid. This amount should be between $4,000 and $8,000, not including government processing fees. If there is an Agent involved with the Sponsorship, the agent should be getting paid between $5,000 and $15,000. Finally, the US government filing fees should be between $3,000 and $6,000, depending on how many applicants are being filed under the EB3 Sponsorship.
Immigration Processing, unfortunately, is expensive in the United States. It requires consultants, agents and attorneys, all of who invest materially in processing and servicing the immigration case, which in most cases will take at least 18 months. Because it is expensive, every potential applicant should consider carefully with who they are working. Research your agent, consultant and law firm and know what industries commonly use EB3 to source foreign workers.