Each fiscal year, the USA issues 1,40,000 employment-based immigrant permanent residence visas or Green Cards as they are more popularly known. This includes a visa for the principal applicant or the individual migrating to the USA for a job, and his/her spouse and dependent children.
Depending on the number of eligible applicants and the country-wise cap, the principal applicant and his/ her family may get visas in different years. Migrants can apply in one of the 5 categories for this visa. Let’s take a look at the 5 categories and their order of preference.
Employment-Based Immigrant Visa First Preference: EB-1
The EB-1 visa is reserved for individuals who have extraordinary abilities in the field of science, education, arts, business, or athletics. They may be employed in managerial positions or as researchers, professors, etc. To prove their expertise, the individual must have won national/ international acclaim.
Labour certification is not required and the applicant’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years may apply alongside for E-14 or E-15 visas.
Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Second Preference: EB-2
To be eligible for this visa, the applicant must hold an advanced degree in arts, science or business or prove exceptional ability in any of these fields.
Labour certification is not required if the applicant has a national interest waiver. The applicant’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years may apply alongside for E-21 or E-22 visas.
Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Third Preference: EB-3
This visa category addresses professionals and skilled workers. To be eligible, professionals must hold a US baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent and be registered members of their profession.
Skilled workers must be employed in jobs that require at least 2 years of training and must meet the education and experience requirements of the opportunity. The job being held must not be seasonal or temporary in nature.
Labour certification is required and the applicant’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years may apply for E-34, EW-4, E-35 or EW-5 visas.
Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Fourth Preference: EB-4
EB-4 visas are reserved for special immigrants such as US foreign service post employees, religious workers, retired employees of international organizations, noncitizen minor wards of the US courts, etc.
Labour certification is not required for this visa. The applicant’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years may be eligible for admission to the USA only in some instances.
Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Fifth Preference: EB-5
Entrepreneurs and foreign investors who invest a minimum of $1.5 million or $8,00,000 in targeted employment areas to develop a new commercial enterprise are eligible for the EB-5 visa. The proposed business must also meet other criteria such as generating full-time employment for at least 10 US citizens.
Labour certification is not required. The principal applicant’s family members are also eligible for this visa category.
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