Employment Based Immigration to USA

Employment Based Immigration to USA

Every fiscal year (October 1st – September 30th), approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are made available to qualified applicants under the provisions of U.S. immigration law. Employment based immigrant visas are divided into five preference categories:

  1. Employment-Based Immigration: First Preference EB-1: You may be eligible for an employment-based, first-preference visa if you have an extraordinary ability, are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager.
  2. Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability: A Second Preference applicant must generally have a labor certification approved by the  Department of Labor. A job offer is required and the U.S. employer must file an Immigration Petition for Alien Worker, Form -140 on behalf of the applicant. There are two subgroups within this category:

In most cases, you must be at least 18 years of age and be a Permanent Resident for a certain number of years before you may apply for naturalization. but it is not enough to be a Permanent Resident for the required number of years; you must also be in “continuous residence” during that time.

  1. Professionals holding an advanced degree(beyond a baccalaureate degree), or a baccalaureate degree and at least five years progressive experience in the profession.
  2. Persons with exceptional abilityin the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability means having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.

Additional information can be found on USCIS’s Second Preference EB-2 page

  1. Employment Third Preference (E3):Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)

A Third Preference applicant must have an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, filed by the prospective employer. All such workers generally require labor certification approved by the Department of Labor. Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers) receive 28.6 percent of the yearly worldwide limit of employment-based immigrant visas, plus any unused visas from the Employment First Preference and Second Preference categories.

There are three subgroups within this category:

  1. Skilled workersare persons whose jobs require a minimum of 2 years training or work experience that are not temporary or seasonal.
  2. Professionalsare members of the professions whose jobs require at least a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. university or college or its foreign equivalent degree.
  3. Unskilled workers (Other workers)are persons capable of filling positions that require less than two years training or experience that are not temporary or seasonal.

Additional information can be found on USCIS’s Third Preference EB-3 page.

  1. Employment Fourth Preference (E4): Certain Special Immigrants:

A Fourth Preference applicant must be the beneficiary of an approved Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, Form I-360, with the exception of Certain Employees or Former Employees of the U.S. Government Abroad. Labor certification is not required for any of the Certain Special Immigrants subgroups. Special Immigrants receive 7.1 percent of the yearly worldwide limit of employment-based immigrant visas.

Additional information can be found on USCIS’s Fourth Preference EB-4 page.

  1. Employment Fifth Preference (E5): ImmigrantInvestors

Immigrant Investor visa categories are for capital investment by foreign investors in new commercial enterprises in the United States which provide job creation. All EB-5 investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise, which is a commercial enterprise which means any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business including, but not limited to:

  • A sole proprietorship
  • Partnership (whether limited or general)
  • Holding company
  • Joint venture
  • Corporation
  • Business trust or other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned.

Job Creation Requirements- the creation of enterprise must also:

  • Create or preserve at least 10 full-time direct/indirect jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years (or under certain circumstances, within a reasonable time after the two-year period) of the immigrant investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident.

Additional information can be found on USCIS’s Fifth Preference EB-5 page.

Capital Investment Requirements

All capital shall be valued at fair-market value in United States dollars. Assets acquired, directly or indirectly, by unlawful means (such as criminal activities) shall not be considered capital for the purposes of section 203(b)(5) of the Act. Investment capital cannot be borrowed; Required minimum investments are:

  • The minimum qualifying investment in the United States is $1 million.
  • Targeted Employment Area (High Unemployment or Rural Area). The minimum qualifying investment either within a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States is $500,000.
    • Atargeted employment area is an area that, at the time of investment, is a rural area or an area experiencing unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate.
    • Arural area is any area outside a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or outside the boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more according to the decennial census.
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