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Immigrant Visas are designed for people who want to live and work in the United States permanently.  We call this visa “green card.”  There are many ways you can file for green card. Other than by a family based petition, an employer can sponsor and apply for permanent residence by virtue of employment with the company.

 Employment Based Green Card Applications:

Categories:

I. First Preference:  Persons of extraordinary ability.  The employment based first preference category is divided into three: 

a. persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, arts, business or athletics;

b. outstanding professors and researchers;

c. certain multinational executives & managers.

Extraordinary ability is defined as a level of expertise indicating that you are an individual who is one of that small percentage who has risen to the top of your field of endeavor. You should be recognized in the field of science, art, education, business or athletics, which must be substantially documented.  The alien must be seeking to enter the United States to continue work in the field, and the entry of such alien must substantially benefit prospectively the United States.

No offer of employment (including labor certification) is required, but for aliens with extraordinary ability the alien must include with the petition convincing evidence that he or she is coming to continue work in the area of expertise.  Evidence may include letter(s) from prospective employer(s), evidence of prearranged commitments, such as contracts, or a statement from the beneficiary detailing plans for continuing work in the United States.   

Outstanding Professors or researchers mean that you are recognized internationally as outstanding in an academic area, have at least 3 years experience in that area, and have the required offer of employment.  Although no labor certification is required, you must get a letter from a U.S. university offering you a teaching or research position or from a private or non-profit employer offering you comparable research position.

Multinational Manager or Executive is described to mean that you have been working in such capacity for one year out of the three years preceding the application and seeking employment in that capacity here in the U.S.  No labor certification is required.  You must have extensive credentials.

There is no waiting period for qualified first preference individuals.  They are the top in their field and can apply with no waiting period or labor certification.  To check the priority dates of visa availability please visit the U.S. Department of state website at http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_3258.html the entry of such alien must substantially benefit prospectively the United States.

No offer of employment (including labor certification) is required, but for aliens with extraordinary ability the alien must include with the petition convincing evidence that he or she is coming to continue work in the area of expertise.  Evidence may include letter(s) from prospective employer(s), evidence of prearranged commitments, such as contracts, or a statement from the beneficiary detailing plans for continuing work in the United States.   

Outstanding Professors or researchers mean that you are recognized internationally as outstanding in an academic area, have at least 3 years experience in that area, and have the required offer of employment.  Although no labor certification is required, you must get a letter from a U.S. university offering you a teaching or research position or from a private or non-profit employer offering you comparable research position.

Multinational Manager or Executive is described to mean that you have been working in such capacity for one year out of the three years preceding the application and seeking employment in that capacity here in the U.S.  No labor certification is required.  You must have extensive credentials.

There is no waiting period for qualified first preference individuals.  They are the top in their field and can apply with no waiting period or labor certification.  To check the priority dates of visa availability please visit the U.S. Department of state website at http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_3258.html

II. Second Preference:  Less qualified but still superior people compared to the average individuals.  Members of the professions include, but is not limited to architects, engineers, lawyers, physicians, surgeons, and teachers in elementary or secondary schools, colleges, academia, or seminaries.   It also includes any occupation for which a U.S. baccalaureate degree (or foreign equivalent) is the minimum requirement for entry into the occupation.   For member of the professions, advanced degree means any U.S. academic or professional degree (or foreign equivalent degree) above that of a baccalaureate. A bachelor degree plus five years of progressive experience in the professions is considered as the equivalent of a master's degree.

Aliens of Exceptional Ability in the sciences, arts, or business. An alien will qualify for registration in this category if he or she is seeking to enter in the United States in his or her field and the entry of such alien will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural, or educational interests, or welfare of the United States.

Exceptional ability has been defined as something more than what is usual, ordinary, or common, and requires some rare or unusual talent, or unique or extraordinary ability in a calling which, of itself, requires that talent or skill. The possession of a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning or a license to practice, or certification for a particular profession or occupation, shall not, by itself, be considered sufficient evidence of such exceptional ability.

A specific offer of employment is required in order to qualify for immigration in the employment based second preference category. The prospective employer is required to contact the local state employment office for information on filing for labor certification to show that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the proposed employment. If labor certification is approved, the certification is filed together with an immigrant visa petition, form I-140, with the office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Those seeking employment in the exceptional ability category, may seek an exemption from the job offer requirement and may file a petition on his or own behalf may be obtained from USCIS.

Note: The decision on whether a person is qualified for registration in the employment based second preference category is made by USCIS. Questions about eligibility for such status or filing a petition should be addressed to the appropriate USCIS office. The Embassy cannot answer questions concerning eligibility to register in this category.
There is no waiting period for qualified second preference individuals.  They are superior people and can apply with no waiting period or labor certification.  To check the priority dates of visa availability please visit the U.S. Department of state website at http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_3258.html

III. Third Preference:  This category encompasses college graduates or skilled workers with two years minimum experience.  Labor certification is required, which is currently known as the PERM process.  The employer must conduct three to six months recruitment process (newspapers, internet, magazines, college newspapers, journals, etc.)  and certify thereafter that his or her campaign did not produce any results and sponsor the alien for the job.  The alien must have the qualified experience and education.  The labor certification is filed with the federal department of labor and usually takes three to six months.  Thereafter immigrant petition I-140 is filed.  As soon as this is approved the alien has to wait for its visa availability to file for the I-485 green card form.  Currently, there is no waiting period for this category.  To check the priority dates of visa availability please visit the U.S. Department of state website at http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_3258.html 

You must be in lawful status in order to apply for adjustment through employment based categories.  If however you applied for immigration benefits (labor certification, family based petitions, etc.) on or before April 30, 2001 and entered the U.S. legally, you will be excused and grandfathered in even if you are out of status.  Applicants staying in the U.S. with any non-immigrant status may file for adjustment of status.

IV. Fourth Preference:  Designed for persons seeking reacquisition of citizenship/and returning resident and for religious workers. 

Requirements for religious workers:

a.     Must be a member of a religious denomination having bona fide, non-profit, religious organization in the U.S., 2 years immediately preceding the application; 

b.    Must seek only to carry out vocation as a minister or if before October 1, 2008, must seek to work in a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupancy or to work for an organization or affiliate in a religious vocation and occupation;

c.     Must have been carrying on such vocation for two years.  Voluntary service is excluded. 

To check the priority dates of visa availability please visit the U.S. Department of state website at http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_3258.html 

V. Fifth Preference:  This category is designed for the wealthy individuals.  Investment of $1,000,000.00 ($500,000.00 for rural area of less than 20,000 population or an area which has experienced high unemployment of at least 150% of the national average) in a new commercial enterprise that employs 10 U.S. Citizens or authorized immigrant workers full time and engage in the business through day to day management or policy formation.  The investment must be at risk. 

To check the priority dates of visa availability please visit the U.S. Department of state website at http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_3258.html 

 







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