Employment Based Immigrant Visas

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Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Lawyers Chicago

The Immigration and Nationality Act includes five classifications for individuals seeking permanent residency based on employment. These five categories include a wide variety of professions, and permit not only employers, but also individuals, to directly apply for permanent residency. Among the categories of employment-based immigrant petitions are those available for foreign workers who are those of outstanding achievement, to those who are unskilled laborers, to every profession in between.  Pursuing these visas is becoming increasingly more complex and difficult in the present climate.  Our firm provides advice and guidance on how to handle and assist with even the most difficult of cases.

Employment-Based 1st Preference Category

EB-1: Individuals of extraordinary ability, Outstanding Professors and Researchers, and Multinational Executives and Managers. EB-1 classification is available to the following categories of individuals:

  • Individuals of extraordinary ability in any legitimate field who demonstrate that have enjoyed sustained national and international acclaim and are among the selective few leading members of their fields. These individuals can self-petition for such classification and do not require an employer sponsor. They must provide extensive evidence of their extraordinary abilities, demonstrate the intent to continue working in their fields as permanent residents of the United States, and show that the United States stands to substantially benefit from their presence in the nation as Legal Permanent Residents.
  • Outstanding Professors and Researchers, who are individuals sponsored by an academic or nonprofit research institution or private employer with an established research history and department. These are individuals who can demonstrate outstanding ability as professors and/or researchers by submitting extensive evidence that they meet at least two out of six evidentiary criteria for such classification. Their applications for such classification must be accompanied by evidence that they have received a full-time job offer of “permanent” duration as either a Professor or Researcher. Tenure-track positions and other at-will employment positions without specific ending dates qualify.
  • Multinational Executives and Managers are managers or executive capacity employees sponsored by a multinational corporation for permanent residency. These individuals must have been employed abroad for at least 1 of the last 3 years by a firm, corporation, or affiliate or subsidiary thereof. While there is no labor certification requirement, the individual applicant must be the recipient of a job offer. Many individuals who have previously spent time in L status are sponsored for permanent residency in this category, although there is no permanent residency counterpart in the EB-1 category for L-1B “specialized workers.”

Employment-Based 2nd Preference Category

EB-2: Members of Professions Holding Advanced Degree or Aliens of Exceptional Ability. Most individuals seeking classification in this category must be the recipients of job offers from a U.S. employer and must have at least an advanced degree or its equivalent. Individuals who can demonstrate exceptional ability in their field are eligible for such classification even if they do not hold a Masters Degree or its equivalent. Petitions seeking such classification of an employee must include extensive evidence about the employer and employee’s eligibility. In most cases, a labor certification is required. Professionals in a wide variety of fields are eligible for such classification.

Individuals whose work is deemed to be of intrinsic merit to the national interests of the United States and whose past accomplishments demonstrate that they will make substantial future contributions to our national interests are exempted from the requirement of a job offer and labor certification.  These are known as National Interest Waivers.

Physicians working in medically-underserved areas are also eligible to apply for permanent residency in this category, as are physicians sponsored for permanent residency by an employer based upon a labor certification.

Employment-Based 3rd Preference Category

EB-3: Professionals, Skilled, and Other Workers. This category is reserved for employer-sponsored professionals with a Bachelors Degree or higher, skilled (defined as a minimum of 2 years of training or work experience) and other workers (those with less than 2 years of training and work experience). All employees sponsored in this category require a labor certification.  (see labor certification).  This is often the most commonly sponsored visa category.  This visa category is often oversubscribed, and thus, only a limited number of visas are available per year.

Employment-Based 4th Preference Category

This category covers a wide variety of individuals, including religious workers, U.S. employees abroad, individuals with certain military experience, and many others.

Employment-Based 5th Preference Category

The EB-5 investor visa covers individuals who invest $1,000,000 (or $500,000 if the area of investment is demonstrated to be a TEA, or targeted employment area) in a new commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 USCs or LPR workers on a full-time basis, and engage in the business through day-to-day management and policy formulation. The underlying commercial enterprise can be set up through a broad spectrum of business entities, including a limited partnership, holding company, and wholly-owned subsidiaries of such entities. The entity must be for-profit. The investor must demonstrate that the funds have been placed at risk, that the source of funds is legitimate, and that the required 10 jobs will be created during a two-year conditional residency period granted to the investor.

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