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What is the EB3 Visa Processing Time?

This guide explores the EB3 visa processing time, covering key steps like PERM labor certification, I-140 immigrant petition, and the overall application timeline.

  • 05 Jan 2024
  • 3 min read

Navigating the EB3 visa process is crucial for professionals, skilled professionals, and unskilled hands seeking US permanent residency. The EB3 visa, sponsored by a US-based company, opens avenues for a green card based on full-time job offers. One essential aspect of this journey is understanding the EB3 visa processing time.

EB3 Visa Processing Time   

This article sheds light on the EB3 processing time in detail:


  • EB3 visa overview

It is designed for professionals, skilled and unskilled workers. This visa allows a US company to sponsor a foreign worker for a green card through a full-time job offer. As much as 28.6% of total green cards for foreign workers are allocated to the EB3 visa.

  • Overall processing time

On average, the EB3 visa process can take one to three years. However, this can vary depending on several factors, including your country of origin, the specific category you are applying under, and your current USCIS workload.

  • PERM labour certification

It is the first step in the EB3 visa process and typically takes six to nine months. It involves obtaining a certificate from the US Department of Labor (DOL) stating that no qualified US citizens are available for the position you are being offered.

  • I-140 immigrant petition

Once the PERM labour certification is approved, your employer will file Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, on your behalf. The processing time for this form can vary, but it currently averages around four months. You can expedite the processing of this form by using premium processing, which costs USD 2,500 and guarantees a decision within 15 calendar days.

  • Visa application

Once your I-140 petition is approved, you can apply for your EB3 visa. The processing time for this will depend on your country of origin and the current visa availability for your category. For some countries with a high demand for EB3 visas, the wait time can be several years.


Understanding the EB3 green card processing time is crucial for applicants, with each step contributing to an estimated processing period. On average, most applications' EB3 processing time ranges between one and three years, though variations exist based on nationality. Visa applicants must prioritise travel insurance as it contributes to a comprehensive approach to obtaining a green card.



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