Employment-Based Green Cards
The United States grants up to 140,000 Green Cards for permanent residency each year through five Employment-Based US immigration programs. Each EB-Visa to the USA has its own eligibility requirements and application procedures. For example, some of the EB-Visas require that the foreign worker be sponsored by a qualifying employer in the United States, while other EB-Visas do not have this requirement. The different EB-Visas are also designed for certain categories of foreign workers, as well as particular kinds of foreign investors whose businesses located in the United States will create new jobs in the USA for American workers.
In general, applying for an EB-Visa to the USA will involve (among other things) filing a particular petition form with the USCIS immigration agency (in some cases, the employer files the petition, but in other instances, the applicant files the petition). Some (but not all) EB-Visas also require that the sponsoring employer get an approved Labor Certification from the US Department of Labor, which basically says that there are not enough qualified American workers available to fill the US job opening and the working conditions and wages of American workers will not be harmed by hiring a foreign worker to fill that US job vacancy. The USCIS agency must approve the petition to bring a foreign worker to the United States before the EB-Visa Application can be filed with the US State Department. After submitting the US immigration visa application, a Consular Interview will usually need to be scheduled at the US embassy or consulate in the applicant’s country of residence at the appropriate stage of the procedure. Prior to the Consular Interview, a medical exam and security screening check are done, plus other procedures are followed, including paying the US Visa Application Fee. Applicants who complete the process successfully will have an Employment-Based US immigration visa stamped inside of their passport by a consular official and will also need to pay the Immigrant Fee to the USCIS agency so that the Green Card can be issued. Please note that this is a general overview and that our team of US immigration consultants can provide you with more specific details regarding the process for the EB-Visa that you are best suited to apply for.
Below, are summaries about the five Employment-Based US immigration visas (EB-Visas):
EB-1 Visa (Individuals with Extraordinary Ability): The EB-1 US immigration visa is granted to eligible skilled foreign workers who (1) have demonstrated extraordinary abilities in the arts, sciences, business, education, or athletics; (2) outstanding university professors and researchers; and (3) certain business executives or multinational managers. There are different criteria and procedures for each of these three occupational sub-categories.
EB-2 Visa (Individuals with Advanced Degrees/Experience): Particular professionals whose occupations require, and who possess, advanced university degrees (i.e., graduate degrees, such as a Masters or Doctorate) or a Bachelor’s Degree plus five years of work experience in the relevant field, and others who have demonstrated exceptional abilities in business, science or the arts, may be able to apply for the EB-2 Visa to the USA.
EB-3 Visa (Skilled Workers, Professionals, or Other Workers): The EB-3 Visa to the USA is for (1) skilled workers whose occupations require at least two years of post-secondary training or work experience (not seasonal or temporary in nature); (2) professionals whose occupations require at least a US Bachelor’s Degree or the foreign equivalent and who are members of such professions; and (3) other workers who perform unskilled labor that requires two years or less of post-secondary training or work experience (not seasonal or temporary in nature). There are different criteria and procedures for each of these three occupational sub-categories.
EB-4 Visa (Special Immigrants): There is also an Employment-Based US immigration visa for “special immigrants” which include: qualifying ministers and non-ministers in religious occupations, certain physicians, broadcasters (e.g., foreign reporters, writers, editors, producers and announcers for news broadcasts, and others), employees of the Panama Canal Zone, international employees of the US government abroad, NATO-6 employees or G-4 international organization employees (and members of their families), Afghan or Iraqi translators, special immigrant juveniles, and others. There are different criteria and procedures for each of these EB-4 special immigrant sub-categories.
EB-5 Visa (Immigrant Investor): Foreign entrepreneurs (and their eligible family members) can receive a US Green Card by meeting the criteria for the EB-5 Visa program. In order to qualify for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, a foreign entrepreneur must make the required investment in a for-profit commercial enterprise (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, corporation, etc.) located in the US and also create or preserve 10 full-time permanent jobs in the USA for eligible individuals legally permitted to work in the United States. The capital investment in the commercial enterprise must generally be at least $1 million USD; however, the minimum investment is only $500,000 USD if the commercial enterprise is located in a “Targeted Employment Area” (i.e., a rural region or a high unemployment area of the United States). There are, of course, other criteria and procedures that must be met in order to be granted the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa to the USA. Please note that there is also an E-2 Treaty Investor non-immigrant US visa program that has its own eligibility requirements, investment criteria, procedures and benefits.
USA Visa Consultant can check your eligibility for an Employment-Based US immigration visa and/or other options to live and work in the United States and guide you step-by-step during the US visa application procedure. To learn more, click here!