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Employment-Based Resident Visas (Green Cards)

Employment-Based Resident Visas

Individuals seeking a lawful permanent resident visa (employment based green card) through employment based immigration may do so based on the fact that they have a permanent opportunity to work in the U.S. and an employer that wishes to sponsor them for a U.S. work permit. The road to a permanent resident visa (green card) utilizing the employment based immigration process involves multiple steps:

  1. First, foreign nationals and employers must determine if the foreign national is eligible for lawful permanent residency under one of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) roads to an employment based green card.  Consultation with an experienced U.S. immigration lawyer to obtain a U.S. work permit is important here since each individual's situation is different.

  2. Second, most employment based visa categories require that the U.S. employer complete a labor certification request (Form ETA 9089) for the applicant, and submit it to the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration, whom will either grant or deny the certification request.  Qualified alien physicians, who will practice medicine in an area of the United States which has been certified as underserved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are relieved from this requirement.

  3. Third, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve an immigrant employment based visa petition, which is filed by the employer on the Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, for the person seeking U.S. work permit.  It is the employer who files the Form I-140, not the foreign national seeking employment based immigration. The employer serves as the sponsor for the foreign national to obtain a US work permit to work in the USA.

  4. Fourth, the State Department must give the applicant an employment based visa number, even if the applicant is already in the United States. When the applicant receives an immigrant visa number, it means that an immigrant visa to the US has been assigned to the applicant.  For your convenience we have provided a link to the Visa Bulletin which is published by the Department of State.

  5. Fifth, if the applicant is already in the United States, he or she may apply to adjust to employment based green card status (permanent resident) after an employment based visa number becomes available.  If the applicant is outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, or elects to immigrant visa process, he or she will be notified and must complete the employment based immigration process at his or her local U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

Eligibility for Employment Based Immigration

There are five categories for granting employment based green card status to foreign nationals based on employment skills.  For your convenience, we have provided links to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website providing definitions for each category of employment based visa that allows foreign nationals to work in the U.S.

EB-1 US Visa category – Priority workers
  • Foreign nationals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics
  • Foreign nationals that are outstanding professors or researchers
  • Foreign nationals that are managers and executives subject to international transfer to the United States
EB-2 US Visa category – Professionals with advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability
  •  Foreign nationals of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business
  •  Foreign nationals that are advanced degree professionals
  • Qualified alien physicians who will practice medicine in an area of the U.S. which is underserved.
EB-3 US Visa category – Skilled or professional workers
  • Foreign national professionals with bachelor's degrees (not qualifying for a higher preference category)
  • Foreign national skilled workers (minimum two years training and experience)
  • Foreign national unskilled workers
EB-4 US Visa category – Special Immigrants
  • Foreign national religious workers
  • Employees and former employees of the U.S. Government abroad
EB-5 Investors Visa - Investors
  • A green card based on EB-5 investors visa eligibility is available to investors, either alone or coming with their spouse and unmarried children.  Individuals seeking to immigrate through investment are those who have invested—or are actively in the process of investing—the required amount of capital into a new commercial enterprise that they have established. They must further demonstrate that this investment will benefit the United States economy and create the requisite number of full-time jobs for qualified persons within the United States.

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