Employment-Based Immigration Third Preference Category – Professionals, Skilled Workers & Other Workers (E3)

The employment-based third preference category is divided into:


Professionals are members of a profession which requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate degree or foreign degree equivalent.

Skilled Workers

Skilled workers are persons capable of performing a job requiring at least two years of training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature, and for which there are no qualified workers available in the United States. Relevant post-secondary education may be considered as training for the purpose of this provision.

Other Workers

Other workers are those persons capable of filling positions requiring less than two years of training or experience, and for which there are no qualified workers available in the United States.

Filing Process

A specific offer of employment is required in order to qualify for immigration in the employment-based category as a professional, skilled or other worker. The prospective U.S. employer must contact the local state employment office for information on filing for the labor certification to show that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the proposed employment. If the labor certification is approved, the prospective employer will be required to file the certification together with the Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, with the office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Separate petitions are not required for the applicant’s spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of age; these persons will be able to apply for an immigrant visa along with the principal applicant.

Note: The decision on whether a person is qualified for registration in the employment-based third preference category is made by USCIS. Questions about eligibility for such status or filing a petition should be addressed to the appropriate USCIS office. The Embassy cannot answer questions concerning eligibility to register in this category.

The issuance of visas in the employment based-category is subject to an annual numerical limitation. Check the Visa Bulletin for the latest priority dates.

Once the petition is approved, it will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC).