Some individuals coming to work in the U.S. are eligible to obtain an Employment-Based green card (also known as permanent residency). Most employment based green cards require a permanent future job offer that the intending Immigrant will perform. Each year up to 140,000 applicants are awarded a green card in employment-based categories with additional per-country limits.
Employment Based Green Cards are divided into 5 different categories. Categories EB-1, EB-4, and EB-5 are typically current (an eligible petition is adjudicated immediately) while the EB-2 category is usually current (except for those aliens from India or China) EB-3 consists of Professional, Skilled and Unskilled applicants and almost always has significant backlogs.
Current processing times can be found in the most recent visa bulletin at the Department of State website.
EB-1 is the most sought after category because there is typically no backlog of cases and the long labor certification process is not required. 28.6% of the total employment based visas are reserved for this category plus any spots not used up by categories 4 or 5. Only the top people in their field qualify for this category and applications are strictly scrutinized. Individuals that qualify for this category are:
Outstanding professors and researchers who have at least three years experience in teaching or research in their field and received international recognition for their work.
Executives or managers of multinational companies managing an organization or a major function or division of an organization.
Immediate family members of EB-1 Green Card applicants.
28.6% of the 140,000 available employment based green cards are reserved for this category plus any visas not used up by EB-1 applicants. Petitions in this category must be accompanied by an approved labor certification or the foreign national may self-petition if the permanent position is in the national interest.
Individuals that may qualify under the EB-2 category are:
28.6 % of the total visas are allocated to this category. Labor certification is required for all petitioners in this category unless they qualify under Schedule A as a shortage occupation. This category is subdivided into 3 subcategories:
This category receives 7.1% of the total employment visas: Individuals potentially qualified for EB 4 status include:
10,000 visas are available each year to individuals investing in a new commercial enterprise. Purchasing an existing business may qualify. EB-5 petitioners must:
For more information on how to obtain a green card through an employer, or to get help coming up with another legal strategy for obtaining permanent residency in the United State, talk to a qualified local immigration lawyer.