There are essentially two primary types of employment-related immigrant visas. The letter visas or Employment Non-Immigrant Visas allow temporary residency for certain types of workers for specified periods. Other visa exceptions apply to achieving permanent residence through employment for those who fit into certain privileged groups; that is what we will look at here.
Immigration law recognizes that the work of certain professionals is in the national interest of the United States. In essence, a foreign national can obtain an employment-based green card when they have a job offer from a US-based employer or can demonstrate that they have an extraordinary ability to bring to the US and continue developing.
Many of those who become eligible for employment-based residence come first on a non-immigrant employment-based temporary visa, usually the H-1B for workers in specialty occupations. The H-1B can be renewed, but employers often prefer to apply for the more permanent EV visa, which opens the way to permanent residence. Overall, the USCIS grants approximately 140,00 employment-based visas each fiscal year for workers and their families. Five preference categories of employment-based green cards are available, classified by experience, skills, and abilities. Each green card is specific to the kind of worker it admits and its preferences.
EB-1: People of Extraordinary Ability – This category includes multinational executives, managers, professors, and researchers, as well as applicants who can demonstrate their ability through national and international acclaim in business, the arts, science, athletics, or education. Nobel prize winners and famous artists are classic examples. The most important thing about this visa is that you don’t need a job offer, just evidence of extraordinary ability. Others in this category, such as professors on a tenure track, must prove a job offer. There is also no need to demonstrate a lack of others to fill the position.
EB-2: Advanced Degree Holders – This category includes (1) a master’s or doctorate, or bachelor’s with relevant experience;(2) exceptional ability in the arts, science, or business with no specific degree; and (3) a national interest waiver granted to professionals whose work is in the national interest. The work supporting the national interest visa must have “substantial merit and national importance” and be of benefit to the US.
EB-3: Skilled Workers, Professionals, or Other Unskilled Workers – This category covers many different levels of education but always requires a job officer. Among those covered are:
EB-4 and EB-5 cover special kinds of workers, such as government employees, religious workers (EB-4), and immigrant investors (EB-5).
If you face employment immigration issues, you should contact an employment immigration attorney as soon as possible. Contact us today or call 303-297-9171 for an evaluation of your issues and a plan to get started on dealing with them.
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