How to Obtain an Employment Visa

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How Do I Become an Immigrant Based on Employment?
An immigrant is a foreign national who is authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. You must go through a multi-step process to become an immigrant based on employment.

  • The USCIS must approve an immigrant petition (application) that was filed for you, usually by an employer.
  • In most employment categories (See EB-2 and EB-3 eligibility and filing information below), a U.S. employer must complete a labor certification request (ETA 750) for you from the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration.
  • The State Department must give you an immigrant visa number, even if you are already in the United States.
  • If you are already in the United States, you must apply to adjust to permanent resident status when a visa number becomes available. If you are outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, you will be notified to go to the local U.S. consulate to complete the processing for an immigrant visa.

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Who is Eligible for Employment Based Immigration?
There are five categories of employment based immigration:

  • First Preference (EB-1 priority workers): aliens with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers.
  • Second Preference (EB-2 workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability): aliens who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent and aliens who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the United States.
  • Third Preference (EB-3 professionals, skilled workers, and other workers): aliens with at least two years of experience as skilled workers, professionals with a baccalaureate degree, and others with less than two years experience, such as an unskilled worker who can perform labor for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.
  • Fourth Preference (EB-4 special workers such as those in a religious occupation or vocation): aliens who, for at least two years before applying for admission to the United States, have been a member of a religious denomination that has a non-profit religious organization in the United States, and who will be working in a religious vocation or occupation at the request of the religious organization.
  • Fifth Preference (EB-5 Employment Creation) If you would like to be granted immigrant status in the United States for the purpose of engaging in a new commercial enterprise, please see How Do I Become an Immigrant Through an Investment?

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  • How Do I File a Petition for Alien Worker?
    A USCIS Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker) must be filed at the USCIS Regional Service Center that serves the area where you will work. Detailed information is provided in the instructions for Form I-140. Filing requirements differ for each category. Please see the appropriate link to Eligibility and Filing for each preference.

For EB-4 special workers (those in a religious occupation or vocation), you or your employer must file USCIS Form I-360 (Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special immigrant) at the USCIS Regional Service Center that serves the area where you will work.

 

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