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Who Qualifies for Permanent Residency through Employment?

For most foreign nationals who want to live and work permanently in the United States, the ultimate goal is to obtain a green card, granting permanent residency status. Under immigration law in San Diego, applicants have the ability to attain permanent residency through five employment based visa categories. At Kazmi & Sakata, San Diego Immigration lawyers, our attorneys have helped countless clients obtain permanent residency in the United States.

The EB-1 category is the highest skill level category and is intended for those who have “extraordinary” ability in the arts, sciences, education, athletics, or business. This category is also open for qualified individuals noted as “outstanding” professors and researchers and are recognized internationally for outstanding academic achievements in a particular field. EB-1 also extends to executives and business managers on international transfer who provide expertise and skills that without, the business would be unable to operate.

The next category, EB-2, covers those with “exceptional” ability in the arts, sciences, and business. This includes immigrants with advanced degrees and physicians who look to practice medicine in high need areas of the U.S. This category is also open to individuals who demonstrate they possess skills that would benefit the national economy, education, or welfare of the United States, as an equivalent to an advanced degree. Click here to read more about business and employment law immigration.
The EB-3 category includes professionals, skilled workers, and workers with a bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent degree who do not qualify for either EB-1 or EB-2. Under the EB-3 preference, skilled workers are defined as having at least two years of experience in their specific field of work or study and are not classified as seasonal or temporary. Unskilled workers who have the ability to provide skills that are not available within the US also qualify for an EB-3 visa.

The EB-4 category is reserved for religious workers and special immigrants. To qualify as a religious worker under the EB-4 preference, the applicant must be a member of a religious denomination with a nonprofit affiliate and work for two years as a minister or priest of that denomination or in a professional capacity within a religious vocation or occupation for said organization. Special immigrants under the EB-4 are broadcasters, Iraqi/Afghan translators who have assisted the United States, International Organization Employees, certain physicians, armed forces members, workers of the Panama Canal Zone, retired NATO-6 and the spouses and children of deceased NATO-6 employees. Read more about U.S visa for religious workers.

Finally, EB-5 is reserved for those immigrants who have the ability to invest in a business within the United States. The EB 5 preference calls for an initial investment of $1,000,000 into a United States business or a minimum of $500,000 in a business in a high unemployment or rural area. The business must also create at least 10 jobs for US workers in the United States in order for the applicant to qualify for permanent residency through employment.

Depending on the specific E visa category being applied under, spouses and children may be permitted to accompany or follow employment based immigrants. The information provided above briefly outlines the individuals who qualify for each preference; however, there are additional requirements and guidelines that must be followed in order to apply. Our experienced immigration attorneys in San Diego assist clients in applying under the appropriate preference and with the appropriate petition and required paperwork. For more information or a free consultation, contact us at 858-874-0711.

May 2024