Employment based Green Card
The U.S. government makes available approximately 140,000 employment based Green Cards each year. These are allocated among five “preference categories” that correspond to the qualifications of the applicant and/or the type of profession in which he or she is involved. Typically, a prospective applicant must be sponsored by his or her employer in order to be eligible for an employment based Green Card. However, there are some cases, such as “investor visas” or “extraordinary ability visas,” in which employer sponsorship is not required.
The Employment First Preference EB1 category is for “priority workers.” These include persons with “extraordinary” ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and managers or executives of multinational corporations.
The Employment Second Preference EB2 category includes persons with “exceptional” ability and professionals with an advanced educational degree or equivalent experience.
The Employment Third Preference EB3 category includes certain professionals and skilled or unskilled workers.
The Employment Fourth Preference EB4 category is for certain special immigrants. There are many subgroups within this category, covering highly specific professions and circumstances.
The Employment Fifth Preference EB5 category is for immigrant investors. To be eligible in this category, a prospective immigrant must invest, without borrowing, a very substantial amount of money in a job-creating commercial enterprise in the United States.
Due to the limits on the number of employment based green cards that become available each year, some categories of prospective applicants will face significant wait times—sometimes several years—before they become eligible to file their immigrant visa or Green Card application. Eligibility is determined based on a prospective applicant’s “priority date.” The “priority date” is typically determined based upon the date when the sponsoring employer’s petition was properly filed with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS). This means that the sooner an applicant’s employer submits its petition, the sooner the applicant will become eligible to receive an immigrant visa or permanent resident status.
Should you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact me by submitting the form or by calling me at (248) 630-3239. I accept clients from across the U.S. and around the world. My law office is conveniently located in Troy, Michigan for in-person meetings. For phone consultation, you can reach me from any part of the United States or abroad.