The opportunity to work in the United States is a dream for many people all over the world. In some cases, qualified workers wish to share their knowledge and experience with American employers. The United States immigration system allows for some immigrants to enter the country on a work visa. An employment-based visa can be an ideal way to obtaining a Green Card and eventually permanent residence status. Not only does it take significantly less time than family-based immigration, but employers willing to sponsor foreign nationals have access to resources that can help pave the way for a successful immigration application. These employment-based visas can be for individuals who work in a variety of fields or industries. The application process can be intimidating, so it is important to seek professional legal counsel to ensure you are completing the necessary paperwork.
Different Categories of Work Visas
Every fiscal year, approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are available to qualified applicants under U.S. immigration law. Employment-based immigrant visas are separated into five “preference” categories. The employment preference categories typically classify jobs by the level of education necessary to perform the job. Below are the different types of categories:
- Employment Preference (E1): Person with extraordinary abilities (artists, athletes, professors, executives, scientists, Nobel Prize winners)
- Employment Preference (E2): Persons with advanced degrees (accountants, civil, chemical and computer engineers, investment managers, business analysts, and chemists)
- Employment Preference (E3): Skilled workers with two years of training or professional experience or a Bachelor’s degree or unskilled workers who have less than two years of experience or who are in non-seasonal jobs
- Employment Preference (E4): Missionaries, broadcasters, former NATO, Panama Canal workers, Iraqi and Afghan translators, certain retired NATO-6 civilians and their families, some foreign medical graduates, certain retired international organization employees
- Employment Preference (E5): Foreign investors in commercial enterprises that will create new jobs in the United States
Based on an approved petition, an applicant’s spouse and any unmarried minor children (under 21), may also apply for immigrant visas. They must also fill out required application forms, obtain necessary civil documents, pay the fees, and provide proof of medical examinations....