The process to obtain permanent residence based on employment can be long and complicated. The Department of Labor and USCIS are dedicated to ensuring that US workers are protected by the process. There are several categories for employment based applications based on the amount of skill and education required by the job. There is also a path based on investment.
Employment based cases are among the most complicated in the field of immigration law. Employers and immigrants interested in pursuing permanent residence based on employment should retain experienced legal counsel.
In most cases the application must be filed by the US employer.
EB-1 Persons of Extraordinarily Ability. This category includes outstanding professors and researchers, executives and managers. A US employer is not always required. EB-1 is reserved for people who have risen to the very top of their field.
EB-2 Persons holding advanced degrees, Persons of exceptional ability in the Arts, Science or Business. A Labor Certification is required for applications in this category, unless a nation interest waiver is approved. A US employer is required.
EB-3 Skilled workers, professionals holding Baccalaureate degrees and other workers. A Labor certification is required except for Schedule A workers (Registered Nurse or Physical Therapists)
EB-4 Special immigrants. This category includes but is not limited to: returning residents, religious workers, special immigrant juveniles.
EB-5 Investor visa. This application required a substantial investment (At least $900,000) in a US business and the creation of at least 10 full time jobs.
Nonimmigrant visas are issued for a specific purpose and specific period of time. Nonimmigrant visas are known by letter designations.
E-2- Investor visa based on treaties with foreign countries*
E-1 -Treaty trader*
O-1- Alien of extraordinary ability
L-1A- Intercompany transferee: manager or executive
L-1B -Intercompany transferee: specialized knowledge
TN -Treaty NAFTA
H-1B- Professional worker- requires 4 year college degree
P- Professional athletes
B-1 Visitor for business- limited business activities are allowed
F-1, J-1, M-1- student visas – may be eligible for work in certain situations
R-1 – religious workers
Treaty visas are based on treaties between the United States and foreign governments. Not all countries have treaties with the US. Only citizens of countries with treaties with the US are eligible for these visas.