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Understanding the Difference Between EB2 and EB3

Determining the category of your pending employment-based permanent residence case is crucial for understanding your immigration journey. Here's some guidance to help you discern whether your case falls under EB2 or EB3, based on possible indicators found in I-140 immigrant petitions.

Overview: EB2 vs. EB3

In green card cases based on labor certification, the main categories are EB2 and EB3. The distinction between these categories significantly affects processing times and eligibility for adjustment of status (I-485) and permanent residence.

Preference Classification Determination

While the PERM labor certification sets the stage for the EB category, the final determination occurs during the I-140 petition adjudication by USCIS. The job requirements outlined in the PERM LC dictate whether the case fits EB2 or EB3 criteria.

EB2 Requirements and Determination

EB2 is for positions requiring advanced degrees or exceptional ability in specific fields. This includes advanced degrees earned in the U.S. or abroad, and positions demanding a bachelor's degree plus five years of progressive experience.

Receipt and Approval Notices

Receipt and approval notices for Form I-140 indicate the EB category. For EB2, the notice typically mentions "Mem of Profession w/Adv Deg" or "Exceptn'l Ability." The classification may also appear as "203 B2 ADV DEGREE-EXC ABILITY."

EB3 Requirements and Determination

EB3 encompasses skilled workers, professionals, and other workers. Skilled workers have at least two years of training or experience, professionals hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent, and other workers perform unskilled labor.

EB Category on I-140 Notices

Understanding the preference category is vital for immigration planning. On I-140 notices, EB2 typically ends in "2," while EB3 ends in "3." Additionally, the Roman numeral "iii" denotes other workers under EB3.


Accessing I-140 notices helps clarify the EB category. If you lack these notices, a FOIA request may provide them. For further assistance and personalized guidance on your specific case, we invite you to book a consultation with KPB Immigration Law Firm. Understanding your EB category is essential for navigating the immigration process effectively.