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What is an EB-3 unskilled/other workers petition?

By January 4, 2022Immigration, PERM
A passport and green card with the USA flag

An EB-3 unskilled workers petition is a green card petition that is filed for a foreign worker for a job that requires less than 2 years of training or experience. To get a green card in the EB-3 unskilled workers category, the foreign worker must be sponsored by a U.S. employer for a permanent, full-time position in the U.S. The U.S. employer will need to go through the PERM process and test the labor market to ensure there are no willing, qualified and available U.S. workers for the position.

What kind of jobs qualify for an unskilled worker petition?

A job that requires less than two years of training or experience and is not temporary or seasonal in nature can qualify for an unskilled worker petition. For example, our firm has obtained green cards for foreign workers in the fields of modeling and retail.

What are some challenges with unskilled worker petitions?

In order to obtain a green card through the PERM process, the employer must first test the U.S. labor market. For an unskilled worker petition, the job requirements must be less than 2 years of training or experience, which means that the employer may get more applicants who meet those qualifications. If the employer finds a willing, qualified and available U.S. worker during the recruitment process, they cannot proceed with filing the Labor Certification, although they can always wait for some period of time and try testing the labor market again in the future.

What types of nonimmigrant visas are available to foreign workers while they wait for the green card process?

It is very common for foreign workers on H-1B or L-1 visas to be sponsored for green cards while working for U.S. employers. Those visas are generally not a good fit for foreign workers applying for their green card in the unskilled workers category because the H-1B requires that the foreign worker have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and foreign workers on L-1s are either managers, executives or specialized knowledge workers, so their jobs will often require a high level of education and experience. For some workers in the arts, the O-1B visa may be an option. Another possibility is that the worker has an unrestricted employment authorization document as the spouse of a foreign worker. Additionally, there are some visas available to domestic workers that may allow for temporary employment while an unskilled worker petition is pending. These are only a few of the possible options, as the availability of a visa will depend heavily on the worker’s specific situation.

What is the process to get the green card once the Labor Certification is approved?

Once the Labor Certification is approved, the employer can file the I-140 petition with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. This petition must include evidence that the company has the ability to pay the prevailing wage and evidence that the foreign worker meets all the requirements listed in the Labor Certification. If an immigrant visa is available and the foreign worker is in the U.S. in a visa status that allows for adjustment of status, they can concurrently file a green card petition (Form I-485) with the I-140. If the foreign worker is outside the U.S., they will need to wait until the I-140 is approved, and then they can proceed with a green card application at a U.S. Consulate abroad, as long as an immigrant visa is available in the unskilled worker category.

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