Employment Visas

Employment Based Immigrant Visas 

Foreign Nationals seeking to immigrate to the United States with the intention of obtaining legal permanent residence status and then perhaps citizenry in the U.S. may be able to do so via their occupational capabilities. The U.S. allows a maximum of 120,000 Employment Based Immigrant Visas per year for the three major Visa Preference Categories with 40,000 allocated to each preference category. The three preference categories are generally divided using ascending levels of completed education and levels of accomplishment within a given field. For example, a person in the third preference category would need a bachelor’s degree, while a person qualifying for the second preference category would need a master’s degree and so on. Generally, the better educated and accomplished a Foreign National is the quicker and easier it may be for them to obtain an Employment Based Immigrant Visa. The following provides a brief summary of the Employment Based Immigrant Visas: Extraordinary Ability

(EB1)

This Visa is for those Foreign Nationals who have been found to have “extraordinary ability” in the fields of the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. Such extraordinary ability must generally be demonstrated by sustained national or international notoriety and achievements that are recognized within their field. It must also be shown that the Foreign National’s entry into the U.S. would benefit the United States. Generally, these are people who have risen to the top of their field. Outstanding

Researcher & Professors (EB1-2)

A researcher or professor who has been internationally recognized as outstanding in a specific field and has completed at least three years of teaching or research within their field and has been offered a full time position within their field in the U.S. may be eligible to receive this visa. Managers and Executives.

(EB1-3)

A Foreign National who has worked for an international company abroad for at least one of the last three years and now seeks to serve their employer in the U.S. in a managerial or executive capacity may qualify for this Visa.

Advanced Degree Holder (EB-2)

The EB2 Visa is for Foreign Nationals who have earned advanced degrees (i.e. greater than a bachelor’s degree) and for those who have been found to have “exceptional ability” in the areas of science, art or business. Generally, to be deemed to have “exceptional ability” one must be able to demonstrate that they have attained a degree of expertise above that ordinarily encountered in their field. In addition to these requirements a Foreign National must have a U.S. job offer and usually must go through the separate PERM Labor Certification process which is discussed below. An exception to the job offer and PERM Labor Certification is when the Foreign National can demonstrate that their presence in the U.S. is in the national interest of the U.S. and may thus be awarded a National Interest Waiver.

Professional / Skilled Worker (EB-3)

Individuals applying for this Visa would be either: (a) persons holding a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or a foreign equivalent degree; (b) a skilled worker whose position requires at least two years of training or experience; or (c) all other unskilled workers. As with the EB2 Visa, Foreign Nationals seeking an EB3 Visa an applicant must have a U.S. job offer and must go through the PERM Labor Certification process. No National Interest Waiver is available for those seeking an EB3 Visa.  Special Immigrants (EB4)Special immigrants include religious workers, certain former US government employees and some foreign nationals who work with international organizations. The immigration service reserves 10,000 of these visas annually and the category generally remains current so that visas are immediately available.. The most common use of the EB4 Visa is for the religious worker. In order to qualify for this category, the Foreign National must have been a member of a religious denomination with a “bona fide” nonprofit, religious organization in the United States for the 2 years immediately preceding the time of the application and must be coming to the US solely for the purpose of carrying out his or her vocation as a minister or in a religious vocation or occupation which the individual has been carrying on continuously for a two-year period.

PERM Labor Certification

For most Employment Based Immigrant Visas the first step in for the U.S. Employer who has extended a job offer to a Foreign National to go through the Program Electronic Review Management System or PERM for short. The purpose of the PERM Labor Certification process is to give assurance that if the Foreign National’s Employment Based Visa petition is approved that they will not be taking a job from a qualified U.S. worker. So the U.S. Department of Labor requires that the prospective U.S. Employer make the position available to U.S. workers in the same geographical area where the work is to be performed in an effort to determine if any an eligible and qualified worker resides in the area. If the requirements of the PERM Labor Certification Process have been performed and no eligible and qualified worker has been ascertained and the U.S. Department of Labor approves the recruitment process, then the Foreign National and their prospective employer may file their petition for the Employment Based Immigrant Visa. The recruitment process must take at least 60 days and can take up to 6 months and certification can take from 6 months to a year. Needless to say, this is a very long and technical process.   

Employment Based Immigrant Visas 

Foreign Nationals seeking to immigrate to the United States with the intention of obtaining legal permanent residence status and then perhaps citizenry in the U.S. may be able to do so via their occupational capabilities. The U.S. allows a maximum of 120,000 Employment Based Immigrant Visas per year for the three major Visa Preference Categories with 40,000 allocated to each preference category. The three preference categories are generally divided using ascending levels of completed education and levels of accomplishment within a given field. For example, a person in the third preference category would need a bachelor’s degree, while a person qualifying for the second preference category would need a master’s degree and so on. Generally, the better educated and accomplished a Foreign National is the quicker and easier it may be for them to obtain an Employment Based Immigrant Visa. The following provides a brief summary of the Employment Based Immigrant Visas: Extraordinary Ability

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