EB-3 means Employment Based Third Preference Visa. This Visa comes under Immigrant visa category, this visa gives qualified individuals permanent resident status in the United States. Which means it leads to permanent residency (green card) in the U.S. Foreign Nationals who wish to settled in USA permanently this visa offers an opportunity for skilled workers, professionals, and other workers to obtain permanent residence in a legal way, commonly known as a green card. This Visa category boost US economy as it allows foreign talent to contribute their skills and expertise to various sectors in their own country. As we all know diverse workforce always promote economic growth.
EB-3 Visa category is divided into following 3 groups
- Skilled workers: Individuals whose jobs require a minimum of two years of training or work experience for example: Nurse, Graphic Designers, Chef, Fashion designers etc.
- Professionals: Those individuals who hold a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent. Professionals like Doctors, Pilots, Engineers, Architects fall into this category.
- Unskilled workers: Individuals who perform jobs that require less than two years of training or experience. Jobs like janitors, housekeeping, agricultural etc.
To process the visa, it Requires a U.S. employer to sponsor the foreign worker for a specific job position. US employer must sponsor the applicant through a labor certification process, by showing that there are no qualified US workers available for the particular job to perform. After the successful approval of labor certification process applicant can apply for the visa at USA embassy. The processing time for EB-3 visas takes a lot of time due to annual visa quotas and high demand, due to which it takes a lot of time for the processing of applications. So, USA sets the limit on how many people can get this visa each year. After the processing of application EB-3 visa holders can eventually apply for a green card, granting them permanent residency status in the U.S.
H-1B comes under Non-immigrant visa category, which means it does not directly lead to permanent residency. It’s a temporary work visa for people with specialized skills or occupation that required technical or theoretical expertise, like scientists, engineers, computer programmers, doctors, and other experts, to work temporarily in the U.S. It doesn’t directly lead to a green card, but people can sometimes get a green card later if their employer helps with the process. Employer must sponsor the foreign worker, for that employer needs to show that the job requires specific skills set which they can’t find in their own workforce. The foreign worker must possess at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, if required to practice in that field. H-1B work authorization is strictly limited to employment by the sponsoring employer.
Initially this visa is granted for up to three years which is extendable for another three years. H-1B holders who want to continue to work in the U.S. after six years, but have not obtained permanent residency status, they are advised to remain outside of the U.S for one year before reapplying for another H-1B visa. Extensions beyond six years are possible for H-1B holders pursuing a permanent residency (green card).
USA government set the annual limit for the processing of application known as cap. The government set the limit of 65,000 foreign nationals who may be issued a visa or otherwise provided H-1B status. Sometimes number of applications are less in quantity then the set limit, leading to a highly competitive application process. When the number of applications exceeds the cap or set limit, a lottery system is employed to randomly select the applications that will be processed. This lottery system highlights the program’s popularity and the continuous demand for highly skilled workers in the U.S. job market.
In summary, EB-3 is an employment-based immigrant visa leading to permanent residency, while H-1B is a non-immigrant visa which is popular option for skilled professionals to work temporary in the U.S. temporarily, with the option to pursue permanent residency through employer sponsorship.