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The professional sub-category is much more desirable than
the other worker sub-category because the latter generally has a much longer
backlog than the former.
A professional is an individual who has earned a U.S.
Bachelorís degree, or an equivalent degree from a foreign university, and is a
member of the professions. If the applicant has a foreign university degree, it
must be evaluated to demonstrate that it is equivalent to a U.S. degree.
Specifically, the foreign degree must be equivalent to a four year U.S.
Bachelorís degree. The government has asserted that it will not consider
experience in lieu of any years of education, so an applicant who has completed
a three year degree cannot qualify based on additional experience.
The Department of Labor has published a list of
occupations which are considered professional, such as Software Engineers,
Systems Analysts, Database Administrators, and Market Research Analysts, among
others. Also, immigration statutes have explicitly recognized the following as
professionals: architects, engineers, lawyers, physicians, surgeons, teachers in
elementary or secondary schools, colleges, academies or seminaries, as well as
individuals who perform specialized activities in journalism, finance, and
business administration. This list does not cover all of the positions that
would be considered professional for the purposes of the EB-3 category.
Note that if the applicantís
profession requires a license to practice, such as a Bar license for attorneys,
it is not necessary for the applicant to have the license before applying for
the EB-3 category. However, the applicant should intend to earn the license
shortly after applying for this status.