An employment visa allows a person to work and legally reside in the United States. There are both temporary and permanent options. However, regardless of the specific type, the applicant must provide detailed information concerning their educational and work history, their areas of expertise and their contributions to such, their lives in their home country, and what they intend to do with their time in the United States. In many instances, a company must sponsor the applicant for the visa.
Every fiscal year (October 1 – September 30), approximately 140,000 non-temporary employment-based immigrant visas are made available to qualified applicants.
Employment-based visas are divided into five categories:
- First Preference – The EB-1 visa is made available to those foreign workers who show an extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business, or other areas.
- Second Preference – The EB-2 visa is made available to members of certain professions who hold advanced degrees or, those persons of exceptional ability who hold less than five years of experience.
- Third Preference – The EB-3 visa is made available to professionals and other workers who may possess less than 2 years of training or work experience.
- Fourth Preference – The EB-4 visa is made available to special immigrants, more commonly ministers and other certain covered religious workers, and certain government employees.
- Firth Preference – The EB-5 visa is made available to immigrant investors whose contributions have significant impact on American industries and commercial ventures.
A business immigration lawyer assists both the employer and the immigrant in submitting complete and comprehensive applications for employment visas. In certain situations, the employer must apply for and obtain a Labor Certification with the U.S. Department of Labor proving that the position the employee is seeking cannot reasonably be filled by a U.S. worker.
Throughout the entire process, a well-versed and experienced attorney can zealously advocate on the worker’s behalf to give the application the best possible chance of success.
Obtaining a Permanent Employment Visa
The holder of a permanent employment visa benefits from a greater range of rights and protections under United States law. These visas never expire, and permits the holder to bring their spouse and minor children into the United States as well. In total, the United States issues only around 140,000 of these employment-based immigration visas annually, and people with greater skills and talents have higher priority.
The five categories of permanent employment visas each require an applicant to demonstrate and submit evidence of their talents and achievements, skills and work history. These can include substantial awards for art, music, athletics, or academic research.
Because of the limited number of visas available, these cases can be incredibly complex to build and timing is an important consideration. Some immigrants fit into multiple categories, so it is important o speak with an experienced attorney who can best advise on the best route to take depending on your qualifications and situation.
Our attorneys can assist employers and intending immigrants in procuring any of the following immigrant visas:
- EB-1 – These are workers of extraordinary ability, like outstanding professors and researchers, as well as company owners, multinational executives and managers. In order to qualify, the immigrant must demonstrate that you have extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, business, education, or athletics.
- EB-2 – These are professionals who hold advanced degrees or their equivalent and workers who hold an exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, and will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural or educational interests, or the welfare of the United States.
- PERM: Labor Certification for Employers – Before bringing qualified workers into the United States, U.S. employers must first seek to obtain a Labor Certification with the Department of Labor and USCIS. Also known as PERM, this complex process allows the U.S. Department of Labor to certify that the job cannot be filled by a U.S. worker. Most employment based immigration visa categories require labor certification before the application for a green card can be submitted.
- National Interest Waiver – A National Interest Waiver (NIW) is either granted by the US Attorney General based upon the national interest of the United States. Its purpose is to waive either the Labor Certification requirement or the Offer of Employment requirement, or in some specific cases, both. National interest is not formally defined by the USCIS. An immigrant is generally considered to meet the requirements of the national interest waiver in the cases where the admission would provide a benefit to the United States beyond the standard.
Whether you are an employer petitioning for a worker or are an immigrant hoping to obtain permanent residency, our qualified and experienced employment immigration lawyer can help. Deciding which of the five employment categories apply to your situation can be confusing and intimidating.
Let a team with a detailed knowledge of immigration law walk you through this often dauting process.
If you’re serious about obtaining your permanent residence . . .
Let’s schedule your Legal Strategy and Planning Session today. We are here to help you win your case.