Every year, the U.S. government issues approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas to qualified applicants. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services categorizes these visas into five distinct categories, which it refers to as “preference categories.”
According to the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Employment Third Preference, or E3 visa, is available to professionals, skilled workers and unskilled workers. The department further explains the three subgroups within this category.
An overview of professionals, skilled workers and unskilled workers
To see if you qualify for a third preference employment visa, it is important to understand who the Department of State considers a professional, skilled worker and unskilled worker. Below is an overview of each:
- Professional: A professional is a person whose job requires a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. college or university or a foreign equivalent.
- Skilled Worker: A skilled worker is a professional whose job requires, at a minimum, two years of training or work experience and whose positions are not seasonal or temporary.
- Unskilled Worker: An unskilled worker, or “other worker,” is a person who has the ability to fill positions that require less than two years of experience or training and whose jobs are not temporary or seasonal.
The number of E3 visas available
The U.S. Department of State reserves approximately 28.6% of all employment-based visas for E3 workers each year. It also allocates any unused visas from the first and second preference categories to third-preference applicants annually.
Employment-based visas help tens of thousands of individuals attain the American dream each year. To make the most of these visas, however, it is crucial to understand how to qualify and for which category of employment visa you qualify.