This guide is a general overview of the various options available for employment based permanent residency.
The United States has an employment preference system that allows certain immigrants to apply for U.S. permanent residency. Categories 2 and 3 require a job offer before you may proceed. The employment preference system is as follows:
EB-1 Priority Workers
Foreign nationals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation.
Foreign nationals who are outstanding professors or researchers;
Foreign nationals who are managers and executives subject to international transfer to the United States AND must have a job offer.
EB 2 - 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, and
Qualified alien physicians who will practice medicine in an area of the U.S., which is under-served.
NOTE: A National Interest Waiver is available to waive the requirement that you have a job offer if such a waiver would be in the national interest.
EB 3 - Bachelor's Degree/Skilled Workers
Professionals with a baccalaureate degree (or foreign equivalent degree but not necessarily any experience);
Aliens with at minimum two years of experience as skilled workers
Other workers (unskilled workers) requiring less than two years of training or experience.
EB-4 Religious Workers
To qualify as an EB-4 special immigrant religious worker, you must be a member of a religious denomination that has a non-profit religious organization in the United States for at minimum two years before applying for admission to the United States. Furthermore, you must be entering the United States to work:
As a minister or priest of the religious denomination;
In a religious vocation or occupation either in a professional or nonprofessional capacity for the religious organization; or
In a religious vocation or occupation for the religious organization or its nonprofit affiliate.
EB-5 Investment Visas
An alien entrepreneur may seek immigrant status if he or she seeks to establish a new commercial enterprise:
That the alien has established;
In which the alien has either invested, or is in the process of investing $1,000,000 (or $500,000 for target employment areas); and
Which will benefit the United States economy and create ten full-time employment positions for United States citizens or lawful permanent residents (other than the spouse, daughter or son of the alien investor).
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