US immigration law provides people with a variety of ways to get
a green card through employment in the United States. These
employment-based (EB) “preference immigrant” categories include:
EB-1 – First Preference
For those that possess extraordinary abilities and can prove they're
among the top in their field. Eligible applicants don't need sponsorship
from an employer or job offer; they can self-apply for the EB-1.
· People with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education,
business, or athletics;
· Outstanding professors and researchers
· Certain multinational managers and executives.
EB-2 – Second Preference
For individuals with advanced degrees (above bachelor’s) or
applicants with exceptional ability in the fields of art, science,
or business. It Does Not include individuals who have excelled in
academics and athletics as in the EB-1 class.
· People with an advanced degree
· Exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
· National Interest Waiver.
EB-3 – Third Preference
For those who have jobs that don’t apply to the first two categories.
The work that must be done for each of these worker categories
is one where there are not enough competent individuals already
in the United States.
· Skilled Workers
How can I apply?
For each one of the visas, there is a specific requirement.
The following must be included as evidence to demonstrate
you have sustained national or international acclaim and that your achievements have been recognized in your field of expertise,3 out
10 listed criteria below (or comparable evidence if any of the criteria
do not readily apply):
· Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized
prizes or awards for excellence
· Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which
demand outstanding achievement of their members
· Evidence of published material about you in professional or major
trade publications or other major media
· Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
· Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic,
or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
· Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional
or major trade publications or other major media
· Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
· Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in
· Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
· Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts
If you hold an advanced degree or its equivalent, or can demonstrate exceptional ability, you may be eligible for an employment-based
second preference visa.
For Advance Degree:
You must submit documentation verifying your advanced degree or
equivalent foreign degree, such as:
· Official academic record showing that you have a U.S. advanced degree or a foreign equivalent degree
· An official academic record showing that you have a U.S. bachelor's degree or a foreign equivalent degree and letters from current or former
employers attesting to your post-bachelor's work experience in the field.
For Exceptional Ability you must meet at least 3 of the requirements below:
· Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma,
certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability
· Letters from current or former employers documenting at least
10 years of full-time experience in your occupation
· A license to practice your profession or certification for your
profession or occupation
· Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration
for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability
· Membership in a professional association(s)
· Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to
your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional
or business organizations
· Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.
Your EB-2 petitions must usually be accompanied by a certified
Application for Permanent Employment Certification from the
Department of Labor (DOL) on ETA Form 9089, however, DOL
provides for a blanket (Schedule A) certification in certain situations.
As part of the application process, your employer must be able to
demonstrate an ability to pay the offered wage as of the
priority date and continue until you obtain lawful permanent
If you are a skilled worker, professional, or other worker and meet
the required labor market conditions, you may be eligible for this visa preference category.
“Skilled workers” people who have completed at least two years of
training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature. The job opportunity's educational, training, and/or experience requirements
must be met by the skilled worker. Relevant post-secondary
education may be considered professional education.
“Professionals” are those whose occupation requires at least a
U.S. bachelor's degree or its equivalent from another country.
“Other workers” subcategory is for unskilled workers who have
had less than 2 years of training or experience, and the work is not seasonal or temporary.
What is the application process?
The application process for each visa can be slightly different.
For all EB-1 applications, the USCIS Form I-140 needs to be filled out.
The company must go through the PERM Labor Certification
procedure under both the EB2 and the EB3 visas.
How long is the processing time?
The government's time to approve the EB-1 visa is typically around
The average processing time is 18 months, but it can be delayed up
to several years in extreme circumstances.
It can take between 6 to 9 months, depending on your country of origin.
Is there premium processing available for this?
Optional Premium Processing is a specialized service provided by the
USCIS that cuts the processing time of certain petition documents to
15 days for an additional fee. The I-140, thankfully, is one of them.
It can only be used to expedite the process of the I-140. Using an
expedited service will not guarantee that your application will be
approved, but it can help reduce the amount of time it takes
for a decision to be made.
The process of getting an employment-based visa in the U.S. is
complicated and requires extensive knowledge of immigration
law to navigate without making mistakes. Overlooking just one small
detail can jeopardize your whole application, so it's crucial to have
guidance from an experienced immigration attorney.