Immigrants who wish to come to the United States to work must be qualified to receive an employment-based immigration visa. There are five categories of employment-based immigration visas for individuals:
This category of visas, or EB-1, is for priority workers with extraordinary abilities in arts, education, sciences, athletics, or business. The United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) states that individuals in this category must have demonstrated their extraordinary abilities by national or international acclamation and recognition of their merits through documentation. Their abilities must be proved by certain evidence and should be submitted with an I-140 petition, which is filed by the employer.
The EB-2 category is for those professionals holding advanced degrees or with exceptional abilities in the arts, sciences, or business. Typically, the petition for this visa must be submitted with a Form ETA-750 that includes a labor certification from the Department of Labor unless the foreign national is qualified for a national interest waiver. A national interest waiver may be granted to those individuals whose employment would benefit the United States economy, cultural interests, educational interests, or the general welfare.
Individuals in the EB-3 category are required to have an individual labor certification that has been certified by the Department of Labor as well as an offer for full-time and permanent employment.
The “other worker” category is for individuals seeking employment positions that require less than two years of higher education or training. Additionally, the individual seeking a visa in this category must be able to perform unskilled labor that is neither temporary nor seasonal and for which there are no workers available in the United States.
This category of visas, or EB-4, is for Legal Permanent residents who are returning from an authorized stay in a country abroad or for those individuals who are seeking to reacquire U.S. citizenship. Some individuals who may qualify for this visa include religious workers, international medical graduates, and certain Iraq and Afghanistan citizens who assisted United States forces.
For an individual to qualify for an EB-5 visa, he or she must demonstrate a qualified investment in a new commercial enterprise. He or she must show that at least ten full-time jobs will be created by the new commercial enterprise. The new enterprise can include creating a new business or purchasing an existing business. Additionally, depending on the location and its unemployment rate, the foreign national investor must have invested or be in the process of investing between $500,000 and $1,000,000.