EB-2 vs. EB-3 Green Card Categories: A Comprehensive Guide To Finding Your Ideal Immigration Solution

EB-2 vs. EB-3 Green Card Categories: A Comprehensive Guide to Finding Your Ideal Immigration Solution

Decoding EB-2 And EB-3 Green Card Options: Your Ultimate Guide to Discovering The Perfect Immigration Path

When navigating the employment-based immigration options in the United States, understanding the distinctions between EB-2 and EB-3 green card categories is essential. These classifications are designed to accommodate professionals, skilled workers, and other workers based on their qualifications and job roles. Keep in mind that immigration policies evolve, so it’s wise to consult an immigration attorney or official sources for the latest information.

EB-2 (Employment-Based Second Preference)


EB-2 is suitable for professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in their fields.


Advanced Degree: Mandates a master’s degree or higher, or a bachelor’s degree combined with five years of progressive experience.
Exceptional Ability: Demonstrates remarkable expertise through accomplishments, awards, and recognition.

Labor Certification

Generally necessitates a labor certification (PERM) from the U.S. Department of Labor unless a National Interest Waiver (NIW) is granted.

Priority Date And Visa Bulletin

The priority date marks the PERM filing or NIW approval date.
Visa availability is detailed in the Visa Bulletin, indicating when a visa number is accessible based on the priority date and country of origin.

Family Inclusion

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 can apply for derivative green cards.

EB-3 (Employment-Based Third Preference)


EB-3 is for skilled workers, professionals, and other workers not eligible for EB-1 or EB-2.


Skilled Workers: Demand at least two years of training or work experience.
Professionals: Call for a bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent.
Other Workers: Limited to specific occupations with under two years of training or experience.

Labor Certification

Typically requires a labor certification (PERM) demonstrating the absence of qualified U.S. workers for the position.

Priority Date And Visa Bulletin

Similar to EB-2, the priority date influences the applicant’s place in the green card line.
Visa availability is guided by the Visa Bulletin.

Family Inclusion

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 are eligible for derivative green cards.

Key Differences and Factors

Education and Experience: EB-2 demands higher education or exceptional abilities compared to EB-3, which targets skilled workers and professionals.

Priority Date: Both categories hinge on priority dates to move forward in the green card process, with wait times varying by demand and origin country.

Visa Availability: Annual quotas impact visa numbers. Depending on demand and category, there might be waiting periods for visa numbers.

Employment Opportunity: Both categories necessitate a job offer from a U.S. employer, who sponsors the green card application.

National Interest Waiver (NIW): EB-2 applicants can seek a NIW, waiving the labor certification if in the U.S. national interest.

Choosing the Right Category: Opting for EB-2 or EB-3 hinges on qualifications, experience, and job nature. Expert advice from an immigration attorney is invaluable.

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