What Are the Differences Between an EB-2 and EB-3 Visa?

Two of the most highly sought after employment-based visas are the EB-2 and the EB-3 classifications. While very similar, there are major differences between the two. Potential applicants should be aware of these differences to help ensure they apply for the right one that fits individual circumstances.

EB-2 vs. EB-3 Visas

Both the EB-2 and the EB-3 visa are types of employment-based visas. These types of visas are granted to foreign nationals with qualifying educational degrees and professional skills. Both application processes begin with a PERM Labor Certification application that is filed with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

There are, however, some very significant differences between an EB-2 and an EB-3 visa. The EB-2 visa classification is reserved for those job positions that are offered to individuals in a profession that requires the holding of an advanced degree. Usually, an EB-2 visa applicant holds a master’s or doctorate degree. In the alternative, the applicant may be eligible for the EB-2 visa if they have a bachelor’s degree and more than 5 years’ experience working in the relevant field.

Those eligible for an EB-2 classification include those “who because of their exceptional ability in sciences, arts, or business will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the United States.” The EB-2 petition must include supporting documentation to show the applicant’s official academic record and things such as post-baccalaureate work experience in a specialty.

The requirements for an EB-3 visa are not as strict. The EB-3 visa classification is reserved for skilled workers and professionals. Those qualifying for an EB-3 visa are professionals who hold a baccalaureate degree and other workers who possess less than two years’ experience but have the ability to perform the labor when qualified workers in the U.S. are not available. EB-3 visa applicants who fall under the “other workers” category can have huge wait times before a visa is granted. There is an extensive backlog in this category. The EB-3 visa category, in general, tends to have a much longer wait time than the EB-2 category. Those workers who have filed as an EB-3 may even find themselves trying to transfer their EB-3 visa to the EB-2 category. This can be very complicated and will require the applicant to secure a new job position that qualifies for the EB-2 category.

Visa Application Attorneys?

If you are investigating employment-based visa opportunities, you probably have come up with many questions. The categories and the application process can feel incredibly overwhelming. The trusted immigration law attorneys at Nachman, Phulwani, Zimovcak Law Group, P.C. are not only here to answer your questions, but we are here to help you navigate the process. Come to us with any of your visa needs. Our clients depend on us to help them and we never take this responsibility lightly. Contact us today.

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at info@visaserve.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at www.visaserve.com