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Call a business immigration lawyer today to see if you qualify for an employment visa or an investor visa. The law ranges depending on what your country of origin is. IBC Law Firm has helped individuals from all over the world.

EB-5 Visa

Foreign investors seeking permeant residence in the United States can use the EB-5 visa program if they meet certain requirements. These requirements include making an investment of at least $1,000,000 in a new commercial enterprise located in a targeted employment area or $500,000 in rural or high unemployed area. This new commercial business must create at least 10 permanent, full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers for at least 2 years. The commercial business can be sole proprietorships, partnerships, or an investor can choose to work with a reginal center approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

While this visa program has come under fire for fraud and abuse it was renewed through December 2018 and it is expected the USCIS will be working on updating the requirements if and when it comes up for renewal again.

EB-4 Visa

An individual seeking lawful permanent residence in the United States can apply for the EB-4 visa if they meet specific employment-based requirements while also fitting one of the “special immigrants” categories. There are various categories an applicant can fall under when applying for this visa including but not limited to clergy, broadcasters, Afghan and Iraqi nationals that provided faithful service to U.S. operations, and certain physicians. This particular visa option has a limited number of available visas each year—currently set at 10,000 and they take applications from all of the sub-categories combined.

EB-3 Visa

Applying for an EB-3 visa is an option for individuals that fall into one of the following three categories: skilled worker, professional, or “other” worker. As a skilled worker, you must have a minimum of 2 years training or work experience that isn’t considered temporary or seasonal in nature. Professionals have jobs that require a U.S. bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent. While “other” workers are a sub-category for individuals that have less than 2 years of training or experience and preform unskilled labor that isn’t considered temporary or seasonal in nature.

All three categories usually require a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor to accompany the application. In addition to the labor certification, the individual’s employer must file a Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) as part of your application. This provides proof that your employer is able to pay your wages during and after the application process.

While this visa option may be less strict than other employment-based visa, the time it takes to be approved can be much longer especially for the “other workers sub-category.

EB-2 Visa

Individuals seeking permanent, lawful residence in the U.S that can prove exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business can apply for the EB-2 visa. To be eligible for this visa, one must meet the requirements of one of three occupational categories: hold an advanced degree, have exceptional ability, or seek a national interest waiver and have a job offer in the U.S..

An advanced degree is defined as having a bachelor’s degree plus 5 years work experience in the field.

Exceptional ability is defined as having significant expertise above the norm in the sciences, arts, or business. One must meet at least three of additional criteria before they can claim this category including but not limited to, Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in that occupation, Membership(s) in professional association(s), and proof of a salary for services that show their exceptional ability.

Applicants seeking a National Interest Waiver (NIW) are still required to prove exceptional ability, but they are asking for the Labor Certification be waived since their residence in the U.S. would benefit the country.

Items of note about the EB-2 visa: This visa must check the current U.S. market proving there are no U.S. workers qualified for the offered position. Applicants seeking a NIW may petition for themselves since the job offer and labor certification are waived.

EB-1 Visa

The EB-1 visa is considered the most desirable option for seeking permanent U.S. residence mainly because the wait times can be shorter and it does not require the additional process of checking if there is an existing qualified U.S. based worker for the open position. While these two items are a positive, the applicant must meet strict requirements to be considered.

This visa is granted to three types of people: Individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics with proven sustained national/international acclaim; outstanding professors and researchers, or multinational manager or executives.

Applicants apply through the extraordinary ability category must meets 3 out of 10 criteria that include things like evidence of national or international recognition or awards of excellence, published material about them in major trade publications, artistic exhibition or showcases featuring their works, or performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations.

Outstanding professors and researchers must provide documentation showing evidence of at least two out of six items including things like receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement or original scientific or scholarly research contributions in their field.

All three categories require their employer to file a Petition for Alien Worker form.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice.