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Green Card Based on Employment

Author: Green Card Attorney Alena Shautsova

Employment based green card implies different options: first, the employment based visas maybe immigrant (EB) and non-immigrant (visas category H, L, O, P, etc. please see Non-Immigrant US visas here). Non Immigrant visas are given for temporary stay in the US, and the implication is if the person would like to stay to stay in the US permanently, he/she should apply for one of the immigrant employment visas.

All employment based permanent visas or petitions can be divided in two large groups: those that require a sponsorship from a potential employer, and those that do not. Also, most of the employment based visas require an applicant to undergo through a process called Labor Certification: established by the government procedure to ensure that the employer is not hiring a foreigner to disadvantage a US worker.

Petitions / Visas that do NOT require employer’s sponsorship:

EB1 category, Priority Workers, Aliens with Extraordinary Abilities: must have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. Their achievements must have been recognized nationally or internationally in the field through extensive documentation. No Labor Certification is Required.

EB2 category that includes professionals holding advanced degrees and aliens of extraordinary ability who can qualify for National Interest Waiver. National interest waivers (“NIW”) are granted if it can be shown that the alien will benefit the U.S. economy, improve wages and working conditions for U.S. workers, improve education and programs for children and under-qualified workers in the U.S., or improve the environment. If qualified for NIW, a person does not need to undergo through Labor Certification Process.

Petitions / Visas that DO require employer’s sponsorship:

EB1 category, Priority Workers: Outstanding Professors and Researchers: must be internationally recognized as outstanding in a specific academic area and must have at least 3 years of experience in research or teaching in their field. A letter-job offer is required, but no Labor Certification is needed.

EB1 category, Priority Workers: Certain multinational executives and managers: must have job offer from an employer, but no Labor Certification is Required. Other requirements for this category are similar to L1 category.

EB2 category for professionals who hold advanced degrees but do not qualify for NIW. Labor Certification is Required.

EB3: Skilled workers People falling into this category require at least two years of training or experience. Labor Certification is Required.

EB3: Professionals People eligible for this visa category must possess a bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent and must demonstrate that the degree they hold is the typical requirement for entry into the profession. Education and experience may not be substituted for a baccalaureate degree.

EB3: Other workers This category of visa is available to unskilled laborers with less than two years of training and experience. The waiting period for these visas is up to ten years.

EB4: NO LABOR CERTIFICATION IS REQUIRED

Special employment based immigrants:

  1. Broadcasters in the U.S. employed by the International Broadcasting Bureau of the Broadcasting Board of Governors or a grantee of such organization
  2. Ministers of Religion
  3. Certain Employees or Former Employees of the U.S. Government Abroad - Must use Form DS-1884, Petition To Classify Special Immigrant Under INA 203(b)(4) As An Employee Or Former Employee of the U.S. Government Abroad
  4. Certain Former Employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government
  5. Certain Former Employees of the U.S. Government in the Panama Canal Zone
  6. Certain Former Employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government on April 1st, 1979
  7. Iraqi and Afghan interpreters/translators who have worked directly with the United States armed forces or under Chief of Mission authority as a translator/interpreter for a period of at least 12 months and meet requirements. This classification has an annual numeric limitation of 50 visas. See Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqi and Afghan Translators/Interpreters - Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
  8. Iraqi and Afghan nationals who have provided faithful and valuable service while employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq for not less than one year after March 20th, 2003 or in Afghanistan for not less than one year after October 7th, 2001, and have experienced an ongoing serious threat as a consequence of that employment. The provision in U.S. law for Iraqi nationals created 5,000 special immigrant visas each fiscal year (FY) for 5 years, from FY2008 through FY2012. The provision in U.S. law for Afghan nationals created 1,500 special immigrant visas each fiscal year for 5 years from FY2009 through FY2013. See Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqis - Worked for/on behalf of the U.S. Government and Afghans - Worked for/on behalf of the U.S. Government for more information.
  9. Certain Foreign Medical Graduates (Adjustments Only)
  10. Certain Retired International Organization Employees
  11. Certain Unmarried Sons and Daughters of International Organization Employees
  12. Certain Surviving Spouses of deceased International Organization Employees
  13. Special Immigrant Juveniles (no family member derivatives; Adjustments Only)
  14. Persons Recruited Outside of the United States Who Have Served or are Enlisted to Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces
  15. Certain retired NATO-6 civilians
  16. Certain Unmarried Sons and Daughters of NATO-6 civilians
  17. Certain Surviving Spouses of deceased NATO-6 civilian employees
  18. Persons who are beneficiaries of petitions or labor certification applications filed prior to September 11th, 2001, if the petition or application was rendered void due to a terrorist act on September 11th, 2001
  19. Certain Religious Workers

A consultation with an experienced attorney is needed to determine the appropriate steps for employment immigration. It is often impossible, without goring in depth, to determine if a person qualifies for this or that petition.

04 September 2013
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