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Work-Related Green Cards
There are many ways of obtaining permanent residence through an employment work visa. USCIS authorizes a maximum of 140,000 immigrant visas per year and is distributed on a per-country basis of 7% per country and is further divided between 5 preference categories. The 5 preference categories of immigration through an employment work visa are EB-1 priority workers, EB-2 professionals with an advanced degree or persons with exceptional ability, EB-3 skilled or professional workers, EB-4 special immigrants, and EB-5 investors.
EB-1 Priority Workers:
EB-1 priority workers category include persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; and managers and executives of multinational companies (these are our L-1 clients who can apply for a Green Card after having the L-1 for a year).
Certain employment-based green card petitions in the EB-1 preference categories do not require a US employer sponsor. These include persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. The qualifications for an EB-1 based petition are high.
In order to prove that you are a person of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics you must show that you have risen to the very top of your field at the time of filing the application. While it is not required to have an offer of employment, it must be shown that the applicant is coming to the US to continue to work in his/her area of expertise. To classify as a person of extraordinary ability, the applicant must be able to provide evidence that he/she has sustained national or international acclaim and that his or her achievements have been recognized in the field of expertise through evidence of a one-time achievement including a receipt of a major internationally recognized rewards such as a Nobel prize, or at least three of the following:
- Documentation of the alien’s receipt of a lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
- Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;
- Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to the alien’s work in the field for which classification is sought;
- Evidence of the alien’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization for which classification is sought;
- Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
- Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
- Evidence of the display of the alien’s work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
- Evidence that the alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
- Evidence that the alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field; or
- Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.
Outstanding professors or researchers do require US employment and work visas. In order to prove that you are an outstanding professor or researcher, there are three requirements to be met:
- The noncitizen must be recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area;
- The noncitizen must have three years of experience in teaching or research in the academic area;
- The noncitizen must seek to enter the United States for: a tenured or tenure-track position within a university or institution of higher education to teach in the academic area; a comparable position with a university or institution of higher education to conduct research in the area; or to conduct research for a private employer if the employer has at least three persons conducting full-time research and has achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.
Executives and managers of multi-national corporations also require US employment. In order to qualify as a multi-national company, the two qualifying entities must remain in operations and continue to do business in their respective countries. In order to qualify as an executive or manager of a multi-national company three basic issues must be addressed:
The foreign employer and the prospective US employer must be the same employer, parent, and subsidiary, or affiliate;
The individual must have worked abroad for at least 1 year out of the previous 3 years at the time of filing the application in a position that was managerial or executive, and the individual will work in an executive or managerial capacity for the qualifying company in the US.
EB-2 Professionals with an advanced degree or persons with exceptional ability
Persons with exceptional ability under the EB-2 preference category also provide a person of exceptional ability the opportunity to obtain permanent residence without the need for a job offer. To qualify under this category the applicant must prove that he/she is a member of the professions who holds an advanced degree or is a person of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, and meets the requirements of the national interest standard.
To meet the national interest standard, the applicant must have contributed to the United States national interest through:
- Improving the U.S. economy;
- Improving wages and working conditions for U.S. workers;
- Improving education and programs for U.S. children and under-qualified workers;
- Improving health care;
- Providing more affordable housing;
- Improving the U.S. environment and making more productive use of natural resources; and
- Interested government agency request.
Professionals with an advanced degree require a US employer to sponsor the applicant in a permanent position and require a labor certification from the department of labor, called PERM certification. The employer must be offering a position that requires an advanced degree and the employee must have an advanced degree related to the position offered. The employer must then obtain PERM certification to prove that there are no qualified US workers willing or able to perform the job duties. The PERM certification requires a complex advertising and recruitment campaign to be conducted within 180 days of the PERM certification request.
EB-3 Investors: skilled or professional worker’s work visa
EB-3 skilled or professionals require a work visa and a US employer to sponsor the applicant in a permanent position and require a labor certification from the department of labor, PERM certification. To qualify under the professional worker category, the employer must be offering a position that requires a professional degree (US Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) and the employee must have a professional degree related to the position offered. The employer must then obtain PERM certification to prove that there are no qualified US workers willing or able to perform the job duties. The PERM certification requires a complex advertising and recruitment campaign to be conducted within 180 days of the PERM certification request.
Skilled workers also fall under this category. Employers must be offering a position that requires skilled experience or training and the employee must have the experience and/or training required for the position. The employer must then obtain PERM certification to prove that there are no qualified US workers willing or able to perform the job duties. The ERM certification requires a complex advertising and recruitment campaign to be conducted within 180 days of the PERM certification request.
EB-4 Special Immigrants work visa
Workers in this preference category include certain religious workers, employees and former employees of the US Government abroad, and persons serving as translators with the United States Armed Forces. Call us for details regarding this type of work visa.
EB-5 Investors preference category include foreign investors that are able to invest $1,000,000 and create at least 10 new full-time jobs in the United States for at least 2 years. It is also possible to qualify by investing $500,000 in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area and create at least 5 new full-time jobs in the United States for at least 2 years. If you go to our Menu, we have a lot of information in the drop-down about this area of investment Green Cards, which isn’t really a work-related category; we just added it here to be comprehensive.