Harrington Law Offices, Immigration Lawyers
Providing client-centered, goal-driven and cost-effective immigration solutions

The employment-based immigration program

If you have been following our blog you know that there are three scenarios in which families can apply for a green card to obtain residency in the United States. In addition to family-based entry, foreign-born citizens may enter this country through their means of employment.

Each year, the United States sets aside 140,000 visas for those applicants in the employment-based immigration program. Preferences are made for those with high levels of education and developed skill sets. There are five levels of employment preferences that the government uses to categorize applicants. In addition to certifying education and career background, many immigrants need to have either labor certification or a job offer in the United States.

1. Employment history

Employment -based immigration programs numbered 1-3 rank the skill sets or accomplishments of applicants. The EB-1title is awarded to those with an extraordinary ability, who are excellent professors or researchers, or who manage a multinational company. Second preference status is reserved for those with advanced degrees or those with exceptional ability in the areas of business, science or the arts. Individuals with EB-3 standing are skilled and unskilled workers or those with a professional degree. For those qualifying as EB-3 level immigrants, a full-time job and labor certification are both required to secure a visa.

2. Investment opportunities

Developed in 1990, the EB-5 Program, named for the fifth-level of employment visa granted to those who qualify, was designed to spur economic growth in the U.S. This category exists under jobs-based immigration because the alien has the capacity to provide 1 million dollars for investment and maintain at least 10 new, permanent full-time jobs. In addition to the foreign entrepreneur receiving this visa, spouses and unmarried children under 21 are also granted green cards.

3. Special Jobs categories

10,000 green cards are set aside for applicants in the EB-4 category. The "special immigrant" designation covers a wide variety of individuals: religious workers, Armed Forces members or citizens who served the U.S. government in foreign countries. Beneficiaries of this category include nationals of Iraq, Afghanistan, Taiwan or Panama.

The United States government recognizes that immigrants continue to promote growth in industry, research and the arts. Without the infusion of energy and ideas that immigrants provide, America's ability to provide opportunities for all would be greatly diminished. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can help determine if seeking a visa with a jobs-based application is the best path to take towards becoming a resident.

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