Guiding Clients Through the Immigration and Naturalization Processes

Employment Based Petitions

1st Preference (EB1 Priority Workers)

Petitions in the First Preference categories do not require a labor certification and therefore may speed up the overall permanent residence process significantly. These categories include: Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professors and Researchers, and Multinational Managers and Executives (International Transferees).

Extraordinary Ability in the Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics - Applicants in this category must have extensive documentation showing sustained national or international acclaim and recognition in the field of expertise. Applicants in the Extraordinary Ability category are not required to have a specific job offer so long as they are entering the U.S. to continue work in the field in which they have extraordinary ability. No labor certification is required and such applicants can file their own petition with the USCIS, rather than through an employer.

Outstanding Professors and Researchers - Professors and researchers who are recognized internationally as outstanding in their field and who have at least three years experience in teaching or research may apply for permanent residence in this category. Labor certification is not required, but a prospective employer must provide a job offer and file a petition with the USCIS.

Multinational Managers and Executives (International Transferees)- Certain executives and managers who have been employed for at least one of the three preceding years by an overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of a U.S. employer may be sponsored by the U.S. employer for permanent residence. The applicant must be coming to work for the U.S. employer in a managerial or executive capacity and must have worked for the related company abroad for at least one year in a managerial or executive position. The "managerial" capacity may be met by someone who performs either traditional supervisory duties or manages an essential function of the operation. A prospective U.S. employer must provide a job offer and file a petition with the USCIS. The requirements are similar to that of the temporary L-1A Intracompany Transferee, but the permanent classification is only available for managers or executives and not for those serving in the specialized knowledge category.

2nd Preference (EB-2 Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability) - Requires Labor Certification or the "National Interest Waiver"

Petitions in the Second Preference category require a "Labor Certification" from the Department of Labor before filing and there must be an offer of employment from a petitioning U.S. employer or a "National Interest Waiver" (Labor Certification must needed). There are two types: Professionals holding Master or PhD's, and Persons of Exceptional Ability in the Arts, Sciences or Business.

Exceptional Ability in the Arts, Sciences or Business (Labor Certification) - Exceptional ability means having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered within the field of expertise.

Advanced Degree (Labor Certification) - Professionals holding an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate degree), or a baccalaureate degree and at least five years of progressive experience in the profession.

3th Preference (EB-3 Skilled Workers, Professionals and other workers)

Require an offer of future employment from a petitioning U.S. employer and a labor certification approved by the U.S. Department of Labor before filing. There are three types of Third Preference categories: Professionals holding Baccalaureate (Bachelor's) degrees, Skilled Workers and Other Workers also called "Essential Workers".

Professional Workers with Bachelor's Degrees (Labor Certification) - Professionals must hold a U.S. Bachelor's degree or foreign equivalent degree that is normally required for the profession and the position offered by the petitioning U.S. employer. Work experience may sometimes be combined with education to substitute for the degree.

Skilled Workers (Labor Certification) - Skilled Worker positions require at least two years of experience or training and they are not seasonal or temporary. The training requirement may be met through relevant post-secondary education.

Other Workers (also called "Essential Workers") (Labor Certification) – Other worker also called "Essential" worker positions require less than two years of education after high school, training, or experience.

4th Preference Employment-Based (EB-4 Special Immigrants)

Former Employees of the U.S. Government Abroad, and certain Foreign National Religious Workers.

5th Preference Employment-Based (EB-5 Immigration through Investment) ("employment creation")

For investing at least $1,000,000 in a new business (or at least $500,000 in a "targeted employment area", with unemployment of at least 150 per cent of the national average rate or a designated rural area), and by creating at least 10 full-time jobs or, where the capital investment is being made in a "troubled business," maintaining the number of existing employees for at least two years.