Receiving a green card is a dream come true for many immigrants. After all, securing permanent residency in the United States comes with a number of benefits, including the ability to live and work in the country indefinitely, access to social services, and, eventually, eligibility for citizenship. Workers who are seeking to immigrate to the U.S., those who are currently in the United States on a temporary work visa, and employers who are planning to sponsor foreign workers for immigration will need to understand the types of immigrant visas that may be available. By working with an experienced immigration attorney, employers and employees can make sure they take the correct steps to apply for employment-based visas and green cards.
Categories of EB Visas
There are limits on the number of foreign workers who may be approved for green cards. Typically, around 140,000 visas are available each year, although this limit has been increased in recent years due to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other ongoing concerns. EB visas are issued in an order of preference:
EB-1 Visas for workers with extraordinary ability – To qualify as someone with extraordinary ability, an immigrant must be able to demonstrate a high level of achievement in their field through acclaim, awards, scholarships, fellowships, or other similar evidence. This preference category also includes internationally recognized professors and researchers with at least three years of experience and multinational executives and managers who were employed during one or more of the previous three years by a foreign branch or subsidiary of the employer that is sponsoring them for immigration.
EB-2 Visas for people with advanced degrees or exceptional ability – To qualify for this visa category, a professional must have a bachelor’s degree plus five years of experience in their field. A person with exceptional ability in business, science, or the arts must be able to show that they have a level of expertise that is significantly higher than an ordinary person in their field.
EB-3 Visas for skilled and unskilled workers and professionals – A person may qualify as a skilled worker if they work in a non-seasonal, non-temporary position that requires at least two years of training or experience. People categorized as unskilled workers may qualify for visas if they work in permanent positions requiring no more than two years of experience. Professionals may include workers in jobs that require a bachelor’s degree.
EB-4 Visas for special immigrants – Workers in this category may include religious workers, broadcasters, certain employees who worked for the U.S. government in foreign countries, people who worked as translators for the U.S. in Iraq or Afghanistan, and others.
EB-5 Visas for investors – Foreign business investors may qualify for these visas if they invest a minimum amount of money in a new commercial enterprise in the United States and create 10 or more full-time jobs for workers in the U.S.
Contact Our DuPage County Employment-Based Immigration Attorneys
Employment-based green cards are an important avenue for many immigrants who come to the United States to work. Each category of EB visa has its own set of requirements that applicants must meet in order to be eligible for a green card. To learn more about the process of applying for a visa and/or green card, please contact our Itasca immigration lawyers today at 630-509-2363 to schedule a consultation and get the legal help you need.