Immigrant Visa – How To Acquire It Through Employment Preference Categories

Immigrant Visa

Immigrant Visa

United States immigrant visa is probably one good thing that so many people want to have. As anyone can possibly become a legal immigrant and eventually a naturalized American citizen, a person who has an immigrant visa could enjoy what Americans enjoy – freer life, job security and living in a world where there are no boundaries.

There are actually many ways on how individuals can get immigrant visas. But the most possible way is through relative immigrant preference which we have discussed in our previous articles. In this category, the naturalized U.S. citizen or one who holds a U.S. permanent residence can file a petition for immigrant visa for the parents, children and siblings. However, there are certain conditions that must be met.

This time, we will discuss the other means of taking an immigrant visa through employment preference. Meaning, employers could have the power to employ individuals who are residents of other countries provided they meet the criteria set by the immigration laws and U.S. Labor Department.

Means of Obtaining an Immigrant Visa Through Employment

According to American immigration law, there are five employment preferences which individuals can possibly become U.S. immigrants based on the employment opportunities offered to them. Below are further explanations on these.

Employment First Preference (E1): Priority Workers

We call foreign workers who belong to this category the Priority Workers and they do not require labor certifications coming from the Department of Labor. This is because they have specialized skills, high education and training and managerial skills and therefore can be great assets to the American economy and can help in the advancement of learning of the American population. These individuals are classified in three sub-categories:

    • First Preference. These are the persons with extraordinary abilities. They have exceptional world-class talents and knowledge in the field of science, arts, athletics, business and education.  They can do specialized job duties but they must have at least two years of training experience in their professions and have proper education that are required by the employers. Also belong in this category are professionals that are equipped with special labor skills.
    • Second Preference. These can be the outstanding university professors and researchers that are recognized in the world to be great contributors in the advancement of science and are excellent personalities in the teaching professions.
    • Third preference. Immigrants who belong in this sub-category can be the multinational managers or high-profile executives who have worked for not less three years on companies owned or managed by U.S. employers.

In essence, in order that an employer can be given the go signal to recruit a foreign worker and the worker would not have hard times undergo the legal process of immigration, both of them may need the help of an immigration attorney to help them through the processes.

Employment Second Preference (E2):Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Abilities

In this category, applicants must all have their labor certifications approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. The employer must file a job offer as well as the Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers or the Form I-140.

The two subgroups in this category are the following:

    • Professionals who hold Masteral or Doctoral degrees or sometimes bachelor degrees provided they have at least five years experience in their professions.
    • Persons with excellent abilities in the field of arts, sciences, or in business and which their abilities can help employers in their trades.

Employment Third Preference (E3):Skilled Workers, Professionals or Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)

In this category, workers must have approved labor certification also by the Department of Labor. Under this category are three subgroups.

    • Skilled workers. These are the people that need to have minimum of 2 years training and have work experience under regular contracts for not less than 2 years.
    • Professionals. These individuals must have minimum baccalaureate degrees from any American university or can be any school that can equal the academic standards of American schools.
    • Unskilled workers. These are under the Other Workers groups and they must have minimum of 2 years training or work experience under regular contracts.

Employment Fourth Preference (E4): Certain Special Immigrants

A labor certification is not required by this group of people because they may be Amerasians, widowers of wars where Americans are participants, or special immigrants who provide assistance to Americans. Other subgroups that also belong to this category are the religious leaders, employees of companies owned by U.S. citizens, war translators of American soldiers, foreign nationals who have provide great service to the U.S. government, spouses and children of international organizations employees and many more.

Employment Fifth Preference (E5): Immigrant Investors 

Investors who can prove that they can create employments in the U.S. and want to be legal immigrants can also be included in the employment-based preference categories. Because they can create jobs and do not have to compete with U.S. workers, they don’t need labor certifications as well. However, they must at least have US$500,000 or $1,000,000 depending on the size of their proposed business but they must be capable of hiring at least ten U.S. workers within the first year of business. These investors may also fall under the Millionaire Category.

For more information about these five immigrant employment-based categories, you can visit the site U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This site will give you a better view about the requirements needed for immigrant visa based on employment.