Employment-Based Immigration

Employment-based Immigration entails using an employment opportunity to enter and stay in the United States legally. Every year, approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are available to qualified applicants. US Immigration law also allows the spouses and children of the applicants to accompany the employment-based immigrants.

Employment-based immigrant visas are divided into five preference categories.

  • EB-1 – Priority workers. (First Preference)
  • EB-2 – Professionals holding exceptional degrees and persons of exceptional ability. (Second Preference)
  • EB-3 – Skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers. (Third Preference)
  • EB-4 – Certain special immigrants. (Fourth Preference)
  • EB-5 – Immigrant Investors. (Fifth Preference)

Employment First Preference (EB1): Priority Workers:

There are three sub-groups within this category:

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Employment Second Preference (EB2): Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability:

An immigrant who pursues employment-based immigration in the second preference to obtain a Visa to enter the United States must generally have a labor certification approved by the Department of Labor. A job offer is required and the U.S. employer must file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker on behalf of the applicant.

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Employment Third Preference (EB3): Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers:

These applicants must have an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, filed by the prospective worker. Third preference applicants require labor certification approved by the Department of Labor.

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Employment Fourth Preference (EB4): Certain Special Immigrants:

An immigrant who pursues Employment-based Immigration in the fourth preference must be the beneficiary of an approved Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant with the exception of Certain Employees or Former Employees of the U.S. Government Abroad (see number 3 below). Labor certification is not required for Fourth Preference Employment-based Immigration.

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Employment Fifth Preference (EB5): Immigrant Investors:

The Employment-based Fifth Preference category includes Immigrant Investor visa categories for capital investment by foreign investors in new commercial enterprises in the United States, which provide job creation.

***Note*** Based on your approved petition, your spouse and minor unmarried children, younger than 21, may apply for immigrant visas with you. Like you, they must also fill out required application forms, obtain required civil documents, pay the required fees, and undergo medical examinations.

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