Approximately 140,000 immigrant visas are available each fiscal year for foreign nationals (and their spouses and children) who seek to immigrate to the US based on their job skills. If you possess the proper set of skills, education, and/or work experience you may be able to live permanently in the US.
Some immigrant visa preferences require you to already have a job offer from a US employer. This employer will be considered your sponsor. For some visa categories, before the US employer can submit an immigration petition, the employer must obtain an approved labor certification from the DOL (US Department of Labor). The DOL labor certification verifies the following:
· There are enough available, qualified US workers to fill the position being offered at the current wage.
· Hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed US workers
The following is a list of the employment-based immigrant visa categories and preferences:
|Preferences||General Description||Labor Certification Requirement|
|First Preference EB-1||This preference is reserved for people of extraordinary ability in science, art, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; and multinational executives and managers.||No|
|Second Preference EB-2||This preference is reserved for people who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or for persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business.||Yes, unless applicant can obtain a national interest waiver|
|Third Preference EB-3||This preference is reserved for professionals, skilled workers, and other workers. EB-3(A) is for ‘professional workers’ with a US bachelor’s or foreign equivalent degree and with a job offer from a US company. EB-3(B) is for ‘skilled workers’ for positions that require at least two years of training or experience and with a job offer from a US company.||Yes|
|Fourth Preference EB-4||This preference is reserved for “special immigrants,” which includes certain religious workers, employees of US foreign service posts, physicians, retired employees of international organizations, alien minors who are wards of courts in the United States, and other classes of aliens.||No|
|Fifth Preference EB-5||Known as the “Immigrant Investor” visa, this preference is reserved for business investors who invest $1 million or $500,000 (if the investment is made in a targeted employment area) in a new commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time U.S. workers.||No|