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EB-3 Visa Process

The EB3 processing time should take between 2 and 3 years for most EB3 visa applications to be processed. Yet, it can be longer for people of some countries. 

There are 4 main parts to the EB3 visa process:

Step 1
PERM Labor Certification

Step2
I-140 Petition

Step 3
Wait for Priority Date

Step 4
Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status

Step 1: PERM Labor Certification (About 10 Month Total Processing Time)
The first step in the EB3 visa process is for the U.S. employer to get an approved PERM labor certification. Before a U.S. employer may sponsor a foreign worker, they must attempt to hire a qualified U.S. worker. It is only after they try and fail to hire a U.S. worker, that the U.S. employer can sponsor a foreign worker for a green card. Once the U.S. employer successfully goes through the PERM process, they receive a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. Getting an approved labor certification is required for the employer to sponsor a foreign worker under the EB3 visa. This process usually takes about 10 months.
Step 2: Form I-140 Immigrant Petition (6 to 9 Month Standard Processing Time, 15 Day Premium Processing Available)

Once the PERM labor certification is approved by the Department of Labor, the next step is for the employer to submit a Form I-140 to USCIS. The Form I-140 is the immigrant petition and it is filed by the U.S. employer on behalf of the foreign worker. Once the form I-140 is filed, it usually takes 6-9 months to get a response from USCIS. The US employer can also elect to pay an additional $2,805 for premium processing, to receive a response in 15 days.

Step 3: Wait for Your Priority Date to Become Current (1 to 10+ Years)
The Priority Date is the date that your PERM is received by the Labor Department. Your priority date will tell you when you can schedule your immigrant visa interview or apply for adjustment of status (next step). For some countries, the wait time is one to two years. For other countries, particularly those born in China and India, this wait time can be much longer.
Step 4: Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status (About 9 Months)
Once the Form I-140 is approved and your priority date is current, the next step is to apply for the foreign worker to apply for an immigrant visa or apply for an adjustment of status.

Apply for Immigrant Visa
If you are outside of the United States, you will likely apply for an immigrant visa. This is done by filing a Form DS-260. A number of months after filing the DS-260 you will be required to attend a visa interview at the consulate or embassy of your home country. Following successful completion of the interview, you should receive your immigrant visa stamped into your passport. This whole process takes about 9 months.

Apply for Adjustment of Status
If you are lawfully present in the United States in a valid non-immigrant status, you may be eligible to do apply for an adjustment of status. An adjustment of status is the process of going from a non-immigrant status, to permanent resident status while in the United States. To apply for an adjustment of status the EB3 visa beneficiary (the foreign worker) must file a Form I-485 with USCIS. The adjustment of status process takes about 9 months to complete. One benefit of the adjustment of status is that the work authorization (EAD) and advance parole (travel permission) usually arrive within 6 months.

Concurrent Filing
One of the benefits of an adjustment of status is that, if your priority date is current, you can concurrently file your form I-485 (adjustment of status) along with your Form I-140 (immigrant petition). Doing this can save you time on the overall EB3 processing time.