EMPLOYMENT BASED IMMIGRANT VISAS

 Your business is unique and a one-size-fits-all approach will not cut it. US immigration law allows 140,000 persons annually to obtain green cards through employment. This number includes both the principal worker and immediate family members (spouse and unmarried children). However, in FY2021, the number rose to 261,000, and in FY2022, the number is expected to top 290,000.

EMPLOYMENT BASED IMMIGRANTS VISAS

Each year, there are 140,000 employment visas are allocated to foreign workers who will come to the U.S. as permanent residents. The visas are allocated to five categories of “preference”. Except for the First Preference (EB-1) for people of extraordinary ability and for cases where a National Interest Waiver is obtained, these types of visa requires the sponsorship of an American entity and must be certified by the Department of Labor that, under strict guidelines, must establish that the underlined employment offered is not to the detriment of U.S. citizens or residents of equivalent qualifications. 

Dependents of Employment Based Beneficiaries 

The dependent spouse and under 21 years-old children of an employment-based beneficiary are considered derivative beneficiaries. They are eligible to immigrate under the same category as the principal beneficiary. 

Green Cards:

  • Extraordinary Ability (EB-1)

  • Professors Researchers (EB-1)

  • Executives Managers (EB-1)

  • National Interest Waivers (EB-2)

  • Exceptional Ability (EB-2)

  • Religious Workers (EB-4)

  • Physicians (EB-2)

  • Registered Nurses (EB-3)

  • PERM (EB-2/EB-3)

 

General Resources

EB-1 Employment First Preference

The EB-1 (first preference) visa is available for persons who have met one of three categories:

  1. Extraordinary Abilities

  2. Exceptional Professors and Researchers

  3. Multinational Executives and Managers

2

EB-2 Employment Second Preference

Usually, when you petition for an EB-2 visa, you are expected to also present Form ETA-750. This is “Foreign Labor Certification,” or approved individual labor certification that the Department of Labor issues. You would also need an employer to file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.

To be considered for an Employment Based Second Preference (EB-2) visa, you have meet a few general requirements, as well as specific requirements for one of these categories:

  • Have an Advanced Degree or its equivalent in your field

  • Have Exceptional Ability

  • Or qualify for the National Interest Waiver

 

3

EB-3 Employment Third Preference

In this case, “professional workers” means bachelor degree holders or a foreign equivalent. “skilled workers” refer to the distinct occupational experience that require a minimum of 2-years training. This type of green card (EB-3) is flexible in terms of its qualifying requirements.

Requirements for Skilled Workers

Must demonstrate:

  • A minimum of 2 years training or work experience and post-secondary education can be regarded as part of training;

  • Undertake job tasks that qualified U.S. workers are unavailable to do;

  • That they have permanent, full-time employment, and labor certification.

Eligibility for Professionals

Must demonstrate:

  • That they have a United States bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent, in line with the occupation, and that the degree is a requirement in the profession.

  • Undertake job tasks that qualified U.S. workers are unavailable to do;

  • That they have permanent, full-time employment, and labor certification.

Prerequisites for Unskilled Workers and Other Workers

Must demonstrate:

  • That they are able and qualified to carry out unskilled labor (with a maximum of 2 years work experience). This work must not be seasonal or temporary.

  • Undertake job tasks that qualified U.S. workers are unavailable to do;

  • That they have permanent, full-time employment, and labor certification.

4

EB-4 Employment Fourth Preference 

These special Immigrants receive 7.1 percent of the yearly worldwide limit. All such applicants must be the beneficiary of an approved I-360, Petition for Special Immigrant, except overseas employees of the U.S. Government who must use Form DS-1884.

To be considered for an Employment-Based Fourth Preference (EB-4) visa, you have to show that you are a “special immigrant” in one of the following categories:

  • Religious Workers

  • Special Immigrant Juveniles

  • Broadcasters

  • G-4 International Organization or NATO-6 Employees and Their Family Members

  • International Employees of the U.S. Government Abroad

  • Armed Forces Members

      1. Interpreters and translators of Iraqi or Afghan nationality who have worked     directly with the United States armed forces or under Chief of Mission authority as a translator or interpreter for a period of at least 12 months and meet requirements. 
         2. Iraqis 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 after March 20, 2003, and have experienced an ongoing serious threat as a consequence of that employment. This provision was signed into law in January 2008, creating 5,000 special immigrant visas each year for the next five years. The Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security are establishing regulations and procedures to permit applications under the new legislation to begin as soon as possible. 

  • Panama Canal Zone Employees

  • Certain Physicians

  • Afghan and Iraqi Translators

  • Afghan and Iraqi Nationals Who Have Provided Faith Service in Support of U.S. Operations

Two of the “non-minister” religious worker categories under EB-4 recently expired on December 8, 2017. This means that if you are a religious worker but not a minister, you may not be eligible for EB-4 under the religious worker category, unless a law is passed extending eligibility status. For more information: see USCIS website, Adjustment of Status Filing Charts from the Visa Bulletin.

How to Apply for an EB-4 Visa

Generally, an employer files Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant on your behalf.

You may be eligible to self-petition, or file the form on your own behalf. Review the form instructions to see if your situation qualifies, and learn more about what evidence you would need to show with your petition.

Family of EB-4 Visa Holders

If you qualify for certain categories of “special immigrant” under EB-4, your spouse and any unmarried children under 21 years old may enter the U.S. with you. Read more about these qualifications on the USCIS website under “Green Card.”

Broadcasters

If you are:

  • A broadcaster for the International Broadcasting Bureau of the United States Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), or

  • A grantee of the BBG

you can petition to work in the U.S. in the above mentioned capacities. You can also petition for your spouse and children to enter the U.S. with you.

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