A foreign national can get permanent residency based on employment if certain conditions are met. In some circumstances, a foreign national may self-petition (without a sponsoring employer) based on the work he or she will do in the U.S. Most often, however, employment-based immigrant visas require a U.S. employer who is willing to complete and submit a PERM labor certification application with the Department of Labor and file a visa petition on behalf of the foreign worker. Depending on the background and country of birth of the foreign national, among other factors, the visa may be subject to backlogs and long waits.
Unlike most temporary work visas (like the H-B, TN, E-3 visa, for example), an employer can file an immigrant visa petition for employees that do not hold bachelor’s degrees or equivalent. At Becker & Lee, LLP we have secured permanent residency through employer sponsorship for skilled workers such as nannies and restaurant managers, as well as for professional workers like engineers, social workers and graphic designers.
In general, there are five employment-based (EB) categories that help determine approximately if and how long an individual has to wait to immigrate based on employment in the U.S. The five categories are:
- EB-1 — Individuals with extraordinary ability in designated fields (EB-1A); certain outstanding professors and researchers (EB-1B); or some executives and managers (EB1-1C)
- EB-2 — Individuals with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business; certain individuals whose work is in the national interest; and certain professionals with advanced degrees (beyond a bachelor’s degree) or a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of progressive experience in the field
- EB-3 — Skilled workers, professionals holding bachelor’s degrees and other workers
- EB-4 — Individuals designated under the immigration statute as “special immigrants”
- EB-5 — Investors who invest between $900,000 and $1,800,000 and create at least 10 new full-time jobs, among other requirements