Under the current U.S. immigration system approximately 140,000 immigrant visas are available annually under various categories of employment-based immigration. In most cases, prior to filing an immigrant petition with USCIS, the U.S. employer must obtain â€ślabor certificationâ€ť from Department of Labor (DOL) confirming the unavailability of U.S. workers, either U.S. citizens or permanent residents, able, qualified, and willing to perform the work for which the foreign-born individual is being hired. Once a labor certification is obtained, the U.S. employer files an immigrant visa petition (Form I-140) with USCIS along with the approved labor certification. If the labor certification is not required, the I-140 petition is the first filing with the USCIS. Under U.S. immigration law employment immigrant visas are divided into five preference categories, each subject to numerical limitations.
Employment First Preference (EB1)
Since applicants under this preference are considered to be the best of the best in their field, an applicant under this preference is not required to have a job offer and to obtain a Labor Certification prior to filing a petition with USCIS. Under the first preference category, there are three subtypes of EB1 priority workers:
â€˘ Person of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics;
â€˘ Outstanding professors or researchers
â€˘ Multinational executives and managers.
Employment Second Preference (EB2)
This preference is reserved for
â€˘ Persons who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or a baccalaureate degree and a minimum of five years of progressive experience in their field.
â€˘ Persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. Unless a national interest waiver has been obtained, the employer must obtain a labor certification prior to filing an immigrant visa petition with USCIS.
Employment Third Preference (EB3)
Applicants under EB3 preference need a permanent job offer and a Labor Certification from the Department of Labor prior to filing a immigrant visa petition Form I-140 by the U.S. employer. EB3 is reserved for:
â€˘ â€śSkilled workersâ€ť are persons whose job requires a minimum of 2 years training or work experience.
â€˘ â€śProfessionalsâ€ť are persons whose job requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent.
â€˘ The â€śother workersâ€ť subcategory is for persons performing unskilled labor requiring less than 2 years training or experience.
Employment Fourth Preference (EB4)
Under this preference category, an approved Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant is required. Generally, the U.S. employer must file form I-360, but in some instances, an applicant may be eligible to self-petition. Applicants under this preference category are not required to have an approved Labor Certification from the Department of Labor.
Employment Fourth Preference (EB5)
To qualify as an Immigrant Investor a, the applicant must invest between $ 500,000 and $ 1,000,000 USD in a new commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time U.S. workers.
Contact Law Offices of Paul Marinov if you seek counsel in any area of permanent employment-based immigration.