Employment-Based Green Cards

Live and work permanently in the United States through an employment-based green card.

Book a 30 min consultation and have an immigration lawyer advise you on your options based on your individual circumstances.

Employment-based green cards, also known as immigrant visas, may be issued to certain individuals who are sponsored by a U.S. employer in order to work in the United States. There are five preference categories for employment-based green cards, which prioritize certain types of workers based on their skills, qualifications, and the demand for their expertise in the U.S. labor market. Each of these categories entails a fairly complex application process. We listed below the most popular options.

Employment Based Visas (EB - Visas)

This category is reserved for individuals who are considered “priority workers,” including those with

  • EB-1A: extraordinary ability in the field of sciences, arts, education, business or athletics,
  • EB-1B: outstanding professors and researchers, and
  • EB-1C: certain multinational managers and executives.

This category is for individuals

  • holding an advanced degree (beyond bachelor’s degree), or a bachelor’s degree and at least five years progressive experience in the profession, OR
  • with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business

Your spouse and unmarried child under 21 may apply for an immigrant status, if you r application is approved.

Employment-Based Green Card Benefits

You can enjoy several benefits by obtaining an employment-based visa, also known as a green card:

  • Permanent residence: An employment-based green card grants you permanent residence in the United States, which allows you to live and work in the country indefinitely.
  • Ability to work: An employment-based green card allows you to work in the U.S. for an extended time. 
  • Family benefits: Spouses and children of employment-based green card holders are also eligible to live and work in the United States.
  • Path to citizenship: After holding a green card for a certain period of time, you may be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. Please note that U.S. Citizenship has its own application criteria.
  • Access to education and healthcare: Employment-based green card holders are eligible to enroll in educational institutions and access healthcare services in the U.S.
  • Ability to travel: Green card holders are able to travel freely in and out of the U.S., as long as they do not remain outside of the country for an extended period of time.

Overall, obtaining an employment-based green card can provide you with numerous opportunities and benefits that can help you build a new life in the United States.

EB-1 Category Requirements

The primary benefit of an EB-1 Immigrant Visa is that a Labor Certification is not required. Since this usually takes up a significant part in the process, EB-1 is generally a preferred category, if you are able to demonstrate the following:

  1. You possess exceptional skills and expertise in the areas of science, arts, education, business, or athletics, which have been widely acknowledged (both nationally and internationally) through substantial documentation of their accomplishments.

  2. You either have a valid job offer OR you are seeking entry to the U. S. to further pursue your work in the field of your exceptional ability.

  3. Your entry into the U.S. is expected to bring significant benefits to the country in the future.

It’s important to note that the requirements for EB-1 can vary depending on the specific subcategory you are applying for. It’s worth noting that some EB-1 applicants may be eligible for premium processing, which can significantly expedite the adjudication process. Additionally, some applicants may be eligible to file their EB-1 petitions concurrently with their applications for adjustment of status, which can save time and streamline the process. 

EB-2 Category Requirements

For EB-2 Immigrant Visas a Labor Certification is required, unless a national interest waiver applies to you. Your employer will need to file a petition on your behalf, and you must be able to demonstrate the following:

  1. You have a valid job offer from a US employer that requires an advanced degree or exceptional ability in your field.
  2. You possess either an advanced degree (master’s or higher) or its foreign equivalent in the field of employment, OR you must show “exceptional ability in the field of sciences, arts, or business”. Exceptional ability means that the applicant has achieved a level of expertise significantly above that of the average person in their field.
  3. The employer must obtain a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. This is a process that involves proving that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the job and that the employment of the foreign national will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.
  4. You may self-petition for a national interest waiver, which would exempt you from the labor certification requirement if your work is deemed to be in the national interest of the United States.
  5. You must have a current priority date, which is determined by the date of your petition.
  6. You must wait for a visa to become available before you can apply for the EB-2 visa. The availability of visas is determined by a quota system and varies depending on the applicant’s country of origin.

It’s important to note that the requirements for employment-based green cards can vary depending on the specific category you are applying for.

EB Green Cards Application Process

The application process for EB visas will vary depending on the specific category, and on your location. You may file from within the United States, or through a U.S. Consulate abroad. Steps involved are:

  1. Determine eligibility, and find the proper category you can apply under based on your occupation and qualifications.
  2. If required, your employer must file and obtain Application for Permanent Employment Certification, also known as a labor certification, with the Department of Labor (DOL).
  3.  Your prospective employer (or in some cases you) then must file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker and submit the required evidence.
  4. If you are already in the US on a valid status, you may be able to file Form I-485, application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status concurrently with your Form I-140.
  5. If the application is approved by USCIS, you can move on to the next steps in the process, such as applying for a visa or adjusting your status to become a lawful permanent resident.
  6.  If you live abroad, and file via a U.S. Consulate, after USCIS approves the petition, it will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC), and you will need to file Form DS-260, and provide necessary documents.
  7. Once your file is complete you may need to attend an interview at the Consulate or at USCIS.
Andrea Prunariu

If you have any questions about U.S. Employment-based green cards or are ready to start your application, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can provide you with the guidance and support you need to complete the process successfully.

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You can book a 30 min consultation and have an immigration lawyer advise you on your options based on your individual circumstances.

Questions? Answers.

Got questions? We have answers.

Yes, it is possible to apply for an employment-based green card if you are already in the United States. You would normally require an “adjustment of status”. However, the process may be different depending on your specific circumstances, such as your current immigration status and the category of employment-based green card you are applying for.

It depends on the category you wish to apply for. If you have a job offer from a U.S. employer you may be eligible for an employment-based green card. Applicants may also self-petition for certain EB-1 and EB-2 (National Interest Waiver) categories.

Yes, you are allowed to change employers after obtaining an employment-based green card. However, it is important to inform the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of any changes to your employment status.

It is generally advisable to remain in the United States while your employment-based green card application is being processed. However, if you need to travel outside of the United States, you may be able to obtain a travel document or advance parole from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in order to return to the United States.

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