The third preference category is subdivided into three categories: professionals, skilled workers, and unskilled workers.

To qualify under the professional subcategory, the job must require at least a bachelor’s degree. This requirement may not be substituted with education and/or experience. The skilled workers category requires at least two years of training or experience. The other workers category involves undertaking unskilled labor that requires less than two years of training or experience.

Like the second preference category, this category includes a subsection of Schedule A Occupations.  For a job to fall within this category, the Department of Labor has determined that there is a shortage of qualified U.S. workers in the occupation. With Schedule A occupations, the employer undergoes a much less vigorous labor certification process.  The labor certificate is considered pre-certified and does not need to be filed with the Department of Labor.  Instead the labor certificate can be directly filed with U.S. Citizenship Services with the petition and green card application, making the application process much shorter.  Schedule A occupations include physical therapists, professional nurses, and persons of exceptional ability in science or the arts including college and university teachers.

All three subcategories require a job offer. They further require labor certification from the Department of Labor (with the exception of Schedule A occupations) and a petition filed by an employer with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.