U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is authorized to issue about 140,000 immigrant visas to individuals intending to immigrate on the basis of their employment or job skills. Employment-based immigration visas are known as the EB series of visas. They provide immigrants with a pathway to a green card and to citizenship. They are contrasted by the E, H, and other series of temporary worker visas that do not typically provide a pathway to citizenship. Those individuals who are intending to permanently move to the United States to live and work have a more direct and straightforward pathway to citizenship through the employment-based EB visas. Each of the five EB preference categories provide a pathway to citizenship based on different skills, occupations, investments, and other factors.
Employment-Based Immigration: First Preference EB-1
The EB-1 visa is intended to facilitate the immigration of foreign individuals possessing extraordinary talents in the arts, sciences, athletics, education, or business. Potentially qualifying individuals could include business managers, multinational executives, renowned professors, or distinguished researchers. However, an applicant must present evidence of his or her extraordinary ability or status as an outstanding professor or researcher or multi-national executive. Types of evidence that could demonstrate one’s research or professorial skills includes:
- Evidence of major prizes or awards.
- Evidence of professional publications.
- Evidence of original research or scientific contributions.
Aside from providing evidence of one’s accomplishments as a professor, at least three years of research or teaching experience must be demonstrated. Furthermore, entry is contingent upon offer of a tenure or tenure-track teaching position at a university.
Employment-Based Immigration: Second Preference EB-2
The EB-2 visa immigration preference is reserved for professionals who hold an advanced degree, foreign nationals with extraordinary ability, and individuals who can qualify for a national interest waiver (NIW). The general requirements for each category is:
- Advanced degree basis – The intending immigrant must possess an advanced degree or advanced degree equivalent and apply to a job requiring use of an advanced degree. The intending immigrant must generally make a showing of academic documentation or a combination of educational and vocational records.
- Exceptional ability basis – The intending immigrant must be able to show use of “means a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.”
- National Interest Waiver – Labor Certification can be waived for certain individuals if the immigrant’s petition is in the interests of the United States. Physicians can qualify for a national interest waiver if they agree to at least five years of practice as a general practitioner or other medical field and to additional requirements.
All immigrants seeking to qualify in the second preference category must complete and file Form I-140.
Employment-Based Immigration: Third Preference EB-3
The third employment-based immigration category is reserved for skilled workers, professionals, and other workers. Skilled workers include workers who can show at least two years of job experience or training. Professional workers must hold, at least, the equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree & working in a job that requires a B.S., B.A. or other baccalaureate degree. Other workers include unskilled workers who perform work that is not of a temporary or seasonal nature. For all individuals that can qualify for EB-3 visa classification labor certification and a full-time job offer are required. Furthermore, the work performed must not be able to be performed by qualified workers in the U.S.
Employment-Based Immigration: Fourth Preference EB-4
The EB-4 employment-based preference category covers a broad array of individual collectively known as “special immigrants.” Special immigrants include:
- Qualifying broadcasters and BBG grantees
- Qualifying Iraqi & Afghan translators
- Armed Forces Members
- Panama Canal Zone Employees
- Religious workers
- International Organization Employees
If an individual is granted an EB-4 visa, his or her spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may also come to the United States.
Employment-Based Immigration: Fifth Preference EB-5
The fifth preference category is sometimes described as the immigrant investor program. Under the program an immigrant who makes a qualifying investment into a new commercial enterprise that preserves or creates at least 10 full-time jobs will receive a pathway to citizenship. Typically the minimum investment is at least $1 million. However, if the investment is into a targeted employment area or a rural area, the minimum qualifying investment is reduced to $500,000.
Rely on Our Employment-based Immigration Experience
The dedicated and strategic immigration lawyers of Colombo & Hurd handle immigration concerns for businesses and individuals. To schedule a private immigration consultation, contact our firm by calling 800-659-7142 or contact a Miami employment visa lawyer from Colombo & Hurd online today.