The right employment situation could enable you to obtain a green card to live and work legally in the United States. However, both employers and employees must fulfill certain obligations and prove that they meet the qualifications and requirements.
Because U.S. immigration requirements are complex and mistakes can result in delays or denials, many people find it advantageous to work with a Wheaton Employment-based green card lawyer. An immigration lawyer familiar with employment scenarios and the application process could assist you with initial filings or work to resolve delays or problems encountered after filing.
Types of Employment-Based Visas
A green card identifying the holder as a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the U.S. is given to individuals who have acquired an immigrant visa. The government issues five types of employment-based immigrant visas ranked in order of priority. These include:
- EB-1 – Priority Workers
- EB-2 – Professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability
- EB-3 – Skilled and unskilled workers and professionals who do not qualify for an EB-2 visa
- EB-4 – Special immigrants
- EB-5 – Immigrant investors
Only a limited number of employment-based immigrant visas are issued each year. Those who qualify in a higher preference category are likely to receive a visa in a shorter period of time. Accordingly, an employment-based green card lawyer in Wheaton could help an applicant demonstrate eligibility for the highest applicable category.
First and Second Preference Categories
Individuals with international reputations for excellence in their field and executives in multinational companies may qualify for the first preference EB-1 visa. Those with extraordinary ability and recognition, such as athletes with Olympic medals or writers who have won a Pulitzer prize, may even be able to obtain an employment-based green card without the sponsorship of an employer or a job offer.
The second preference visa category, EB-2, is open to individuals with either advanced degrees or abilities the U.S. government finds to be “exceptional” or in the national interest. Those applying on the basis of an advanced degree must provide evidence of their academic record or a combination of academics and work experience.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) lists criteria for applicants to be granted a visa because of “exceptional ability” or under a national interest waiver. A Wheaton employment-based green card attorney could help applicants demonstrate that they meet at least three of the criteria specified and therefore qualify for an EB-2 visa. Applicants who believe their skills qualify them for a national interest waiver do not need an employer sponsor, but others applying for a visa in this category need to have an employer petition on their behalf.
Third, Fourth, and Fifth Preference Categories
The third preference category is an all-purpose category for applicants who have a job offer from a sponsoring employer but do not have sufficient education, experience, or recognition to qualify for the first two preference categories. EB-3 visas may be granted to professionals, skilled workers, and unskilled workers.
Individuals with unique backgrounds may qualify for a green card based on their status as “special immigrants” in the EB-4 category. These include certain doctors, translators, broadcasters, religious workers, and people who have worked with specific military operations. Some of the applicants in this category may apply without an employee sponsor.
Finally, the EB-5 category allows foreign nationals who invest in U.S. businesses that create jobs to acquire a green card. The amount of the investment needed to qualify recently increased, but the amounts may be lower for investments made in “targeted employment areas.”
Work with a Knowledgeable Wheaton Employment-Based Green Card Attorney
Individuals with all different levels of skills, types of abilities, and degrees of education and experience may receive an employment-based green card. However, if you are able to demonstrate more desirable qualifications, you may be eligible for an immigrant visa in a higher preference category with a shorter wait time.
A Wheaton employment-based green card lawyer could work to ensure your application fully reflects your abilities and achievements to help you obtain an immigrant visa without undue delays. Call today for a consultation to learn more about how a dedicated immigration attorney could help you get your green card.