Employment-Based Immigrant Visas of the United States

Employment-Based Immigrant Visas, also known as Green Cards, are for foreign nationals who wish to work and live permanently in the United States. Here is a detailed overview of the main employment-based immigrant visa categories:

  1. EB-1: Priority Workers
    • For individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, who can demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and recognition in their field.
    • For outstanding professors and researchers who have at least three years of experience in teaching or research and have received international recognition in their academic field.
    • For multinational managers and executives who have worked for at least one year in the past three years in a managerial or executive position for a qualifying company, and are transferring to a U.S. affiliate, subsidiary, or parent company.
    • No labor certification is required for EB-1 applicants, but a job offer and a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, filed by the U.S. employer is typically required (except for individuals with extraordinary ability, who may self-petition).
  2. EB-2: Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability
    • For individuals holding an advanced degree (master’s, doctorate, or bachelor’s degree with at least five years of progressive work experience in their field).
    • For individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, who can demonstrate a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered.
    • EB-2 applicants generally require a job offer and a labor certification from the Department of Labor, except for those applying under the National Interest Waiver (NIW), which allows for self-petitioning without a job offer or labor certification.
  3. EB-3: Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers
    • For skilled workers with at least two years of job experience or training in their field.
    • For professionals holding a U.S. bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent degree in their field.
    • For other workers performing unskilled labor that is not of a temporary or seasonal nature, for which qualified U.S. workers are not available.
    • EB-3 applicants require a job offer and a labor certification from the Department of Labor, along with a Form I-140 filed by the U.S. employer.
  4. EB-4: Certain Special Immigrants
    • For various special immigrant categories, including religious workers, certain employees of U.S. foreign service posts, Iraqi and Afghan interpreters or translators who have worked with the U.S. government, and other specified categories.
    • The eligibility requirements and application procedures vary depending on the specific category.
    • In most cases, a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, must be filed by the applicant or a qualifying organization on the applicant’s behalf.
  5. EB-5: Immigrant Investor Program
    • For individuals who invest at least $1 million (or $500,000 in a targeted employment area) in a new commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
    • Investors must demonstrate that their investment funds were obtained legally and that they are actively involved in the management of the enterprise.
    • Applicants must file a Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, to demonstrate their eligibility.
    • Successful applicants initially receive a conditional green card, and after two years, they must file a Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, to demonstrate that the investment has been maintained and the job creation requirements have been met.

Each of these employment-based immigrant visa categories has specific eligibility requirements and application procedures. For more information, consult the U.S. Citizenship