Employment Based Visas (Permanent)

Employment based immigrant visas are divided into five preference categories.

The first preference category (EB-1) is subdivided into 3 categories:

– 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. The most attractive feature about this immigrant visa classification is that it does not require a job offer. Applicants can self-petition as long as they intend to continue to work in the field in which they have an extraordinary ability.
– 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. with a job offer from a university or another institution of higher education.
– 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. Generally, applicants for this immigrant visa classification first obtain an L-1A visa. However, having an L-1A visa first, is not required.

Employment Based Visas (Permanent)

The second preference category (EB-2) is for professionals holding an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate degree) and persons of 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.

The third preference category (EB-3) is for skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers. Skilled workers are individuals whose jobs require a minimum of 2 years training or work experience that are not temporary or seasonal. A professional includes members of a profession whose jobs require at least a baccalaureate degree. Unskilled workers are persons capable of filling positions that require less than two years training or experience that are not temporary or seasonal.

The first steps toward an employment-based permanent visa is a process that is referred to as the Labor Certification. Applicants for an EB-2 or EB-3 must have their employer obtain a labor certification approval from the Department of Labor. We assist our clients in the critical selection of the most feasible type of employment petitions according to their professional background. Applicants may apply for an exception, known as a National Interest Waiver, from the job offer and labor certification if the exception would be in the national interest. In this case, the applicant may self-petition with evidence of the national interest.

The fourth preference category (EB-4) is for certain special immigrants including religious workers. Ministers and non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations may obtain permanent residency in the United States for the purpose of performing religious work in a full-time compensated position for a legitimate religious organization.

The fifth and final preference category (EB-5) is for immigrant investors. These immigrant investors will have to make a capital investment of $900,000 or $1,800,000 in new commercial enterprises in the United States which provide job creation.