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Overview


Every fiscal year (October 1st – September 30th), approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are made available to qualified applicants under the provisions of U.S. immigration law. Employment based immigrant visas are divided into five preference categories. Certain spouses and children may accompany or follow-to-join employment-based immigrants.




The First Steps toward an Immigrant Visa: Labor Certification and Filing a Petition


To be considered for an immigrant visa under some of the employment-based categories below, the applicant's prospective employer or agent must first obtain a labor certification approval from the Department of Labor. Once received (if required), the employer then files an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the appropriate employment-based preference category.




Employment First Preference (EB1): Priority Worker and Persons of Extraordinary Ability


There are three sub-groups within this category: 1. Persons with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. Applicants in this category must have extensive documentation showing sustained national or international acclaim and recognition in their fields of expertise. Such applicants do not have to have specific job offers, so long as they are entering the U.S. to continue work in the fields in which they have extraordinary ability. Such applicants can file their own Immigrant Petitions for Alien Worker, Form I-140, with the USCIS. 2. Outstanding professors and researchers with at least three years experience in teaching or research, who are recognized internationally. Applicants in this category must be coming to the U.S. to pursue tenure, tenure track teaching, or a comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education. The prospective employer must provide a job offer and file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, with the USCIS. 3. Multinational managers or executives who have been employed for at least one of the three preceding years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. employer. The applicant’s employment outside of the U.S. must have been in a managerial or executive capacity, and the applicant must be coming to work in a managerial or executive capacity. The prospective employer must provide a job offer and file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, with the USCIS.




Employment Second Preference (EB2): Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability


There are two subgroups within this category: 1. Professionals holding an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate degree), or a baccalaureate degree and at least five years progressive experience in the profession. 2. Persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability means having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.




Employment Third Preference (EB3): Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)


There are three subgroups within this category: 1. Skilled workers are persons whose jobs require a minimum of 2 years training or work experience that are not temporary or seasonal. 2. Professionals are members of the professions whose jobs require at least a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. university or college or its foreign equivalent degree. 3. Unskilled workers (Other workers) are persons capable of filling positions that require less than two years training or experience that are not temporary or seasonal.




Employment Fourth Preference (EB4): Certain Special Immigrants


There are many subgroups within this category:

1. Broadcasters in the U.S. employed by the International Broadcasting Bureau of the Broadcasting Board of Governors or a grantee of such organization
2. Ministers of Religion
3. Certain Employees or Former Employees of the U.S. Government Abroad
4. Certain Former Employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government
5. Certain Former Employees of the U.S. Government in the Panama Canal Zone
6. Certain Former Employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government on April 1st, 1979
7. Iraqi and Afghan interpreters/translators who have worked directly with the United States armed forces or under Chief of Mission authority as a translator/interpreter for a period of at least 12 months and meet requirements. This classification has an annual numeric limitation of 50 visas. See Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqi and Afghan Translators/Interpreters for more information.
8. Iraqi and Afghan nationals who have provided faithful and valuable service while employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq for not less than one year on or after March 20th, 2003 and prior to September 30, 2013, or in Afghanistan for not less than one year after October 7th, 2001, and have experienced an ongoing serious threat as a consequence of that employment. See Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqis - Worked for/on behalf of the U.S. Government and Afghans - Worked for/on behalf of the U.S. Government for more information.
9. Certain Foreign Medical Graduates (Adjustments Only)
10. Certain Retired International Organization Employees
11. Certain Unmarried Sons and Daughters of International Organization Employees
12. Certain Surviving Spouses of deceased International Organization Employees
13. Special Immigrant Juveniles (no family member derivatives; Adjustments Only)
14. Persons Recruited Outside of the United States Who Have Served or are Enlisted to Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces
15. Certain retired NATO-6 civilians
16. Certain Unmarried Sons and Daughters of NATO-6 civilians
17. Certain Surviving Spouses of deceased NATO-6 civilian employees
18. Persons who are beneficiaries of petitions or labor certification applications filed prior to September 11th, 2001, if the petition or application was rendered void due to a terrorist act on September 11th, 2001
19. Certain Religious Workers




Employment Fifth Preference (EB5): Immigrant Investors


Persons who will invest $500,000 to $1 million in a job-creating enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time U.S. workers.





EMPLOYMENT VISA - GREEN CARD PROCESS

There are several steps to apply for an Employment Based Immigrant Visa.

  1. Labor Certification.

  2. Petition for immigration I-140.

  3. Adjustment of Status ( I-485) OR Consular Processing.

  4. File for EAD ( Employment Authorization Document) and AP ( Advance Parole or Travel Document)

  5. Get your Green Card

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