Employment-Based Green Card Information from a San Diego Immigration Attorney

Behind only family-based green cards, employment-based green cards are the most popular way for foreigners to obtain permanent residency in the United States. All five types of employment-based green cards allow foreign nationals to live and work indefinitely in America and  eventually become a U.S. citizen if they wish.

Each year, about 140,000 immigrants enter the United States on an employment-based visa. If your job offer in the United States is temporary, or if you are not seeking a green card or citizenship, you may wish to explore non-immigrant visa options.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the employment-based green card options, including their differences, advantages, and disadvantages:

  • EB-1 visa for priority workers. This category is for workers with extraordinary ability, renowned professors and researchers, as well as international executives and managers. This category is ideal because it does not involve the labor certification process. An employer sponsor is required for professors, researchers, executives, and managers, but not for those with extraordinary abilities. However, those with extraordinary abilities must prove their international acclaim and that they will continue their work in the United States.
  • EB-2 visa for professionals and those with exceptional abilities. This second-preference employment-based visa is designed for those with exceptional abilities or advanced degrees, as well as those that qualify for a National Interest Waiver (NIW). This visa requires labor certification from the Department of Labor and an employer sponsor unless you hold an NIW. Those with advanced degrees must prove their accomplishments and work experience, while those with exceptional abilities must provide evidence of their talents.
  • EB-3 visa for skilled, professional, or other workers. Third preference employment-based work visas are held for skilled workers, professional workers, or other workers who do not fit into any of the above categories. All three types of workers must obtain approval from the Department of Labor and all must prove that their employment will not take jobs away from American workers. None of the jobs should be seasonal or temporary.
  • EB-4 visa for special immigrants. Fourth preference employment-based work visas are for a very specific groups of immigrants. EB-4 visa holds must be: religious workers, broadcasters, physicians, members of the military, translators, international organization employees, employees of the United States government abroad, or retired NATO-6 workers. Some of these special immigrants must have an employer sponsor (such as broadcasters) while other special immigrants can petition for a visa by themselves.
  • EB-5 visa for investors. Fifth-preference employment-based visas are for those who have either $500,000 or $1 million to invest in a business or project in the United States. To qualify for the reduced $500,000 investment one must choose a project in a rural or economically suppressed area. The investment should create ten or more new jobs in the business within two years after the I-526 is approved. The money invested in the venture can be borrowed, so long as the loan is not secured by the assets of the business.

Visas for the Family Members of EB Visa Holders

The spouse and minor children of EB visa holders may also apply for green card status. Once approved, the family members may live in the United States as permanent residents and pursue citizenship in five years. The children of EB visa holders may attend school, while the spouse of an EB visa holder can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Employment-Based Green Card Attorney in San Diego

If you are a worker who wishes to find employment in the United States, one of the five above options may be right for you and your family. At Feldman Feldman & Associates, we can help you understand your best options for immigration as well as help you prove your extraordinary or exceptional abilities. To learn more about employment visas, to speak with an immigration lawyer, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.