It is the dream of many people living outside the United States to live and work permanently in the U.S. While there are some paths to immigration through employment, understanding the various employment-based visa types available and the eligibility requirements for each can be difficult.
At Sverdloff Law Group, we understand that the journey to permanent residency in the United States can be daunting, and our firm is committed to providing you with clear, comprehensive, and accessible information to support you every step of the way.
Under certain circumstances, noncitizens may seek to work in the U.S. as either a temporary (nonimmigrant) or permanent (immigrant) worker. Each year, the U.S. government allows for about 140,000 employment-based visas to be issued for permanent workers. These are divided into several preference categories.
This preference category is reserved for persons of extraordinary ability and is divided into three subcategories depending on the field in which the applicant works. A labor certification is not needed for applicants in any EB-1 sub-groups. However, in some cases, a job offer and/or filing an alien petition may be required.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires detailed and specific evidence to establish “extraordinary” ability for an EB-1(a) visa or that a professor or researcher is “outstanding” for an EB-1(b) visa. In addition, the application process for each sub-group varies. For these reasons, many applicants prefer to work with a qualified immigration attorney to increase their chances of being successful.
This category of employment visa is for professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. This category generally requires a labor certification, which confirms there are no qualified workers available in the U.S. who are willing to perform the job at the prevailing wage. However, applicants may be able to obtain a national interest waiver and forgo the labor certification if they can show that their work in the U.S. will serve the national interest.
This preference category is reserved for professionals, skilled workers, and other workers. This preference category also requires a labor certification in most cases.
“Special immigrants” may apply under this category, which includes certain religious workers, employees at U.S. foreign service posts, retired employees of international organizations, minors who are wards of a U.S. court, and other classes of noncitizens. Petitioners in this category are not required to obtain a labor certification.
For certain visa preference groups, a labor certification issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is required. To obtain the certification, a U.S. employer interested in hiring foreign individuals will need to provide evidence that:
The determination of labor availability in the United States is assessed at the time of the visa application and the location where the applicant wishes to work. This labor certification is designed to protect both U.S. workers and potential immigrant employees.
Through Adjustment of Status, a nonimmigrant or immigrant visa holder who is already in the U.S. may transition to legal permanent resident status (also known as getting a Green Card). For immigrants applying under the EB-1 or EB-2 preference, the application for adjustment of status (I-485) may be filed at the same time as the I-140 petition for employment-based immigration, as long as a visa number is available.
There are important eligibility restrictions and filing requirements, and not all immigrants will be eligible for adjustment of status. If you wish to seek a green card through employment-based immigration, a knowledgeable immigration lawyer can help you better understand these requirements and assist with your application.
We understand that this process can be overwhelming, but you are not alone. Sverdloff Law Group is here to assist you with every aspect of employment-based visas and employment-based adjustment of status petitions. Our team of experienced legal professionals is ready to guide you through each step of your journey toward obtaining your visa and establishing your new life in the United States.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance. We look forward to being your trusted partner on your path to permanent residency in the United States.
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