Employment-Based Green Cards

Employment-based visas are one of the common ways to obtain a green card in the US. Every fiscal year (1st of October – 30th of September), approximately 140,000 employment-based visas are available and is divided into five different categories with different availability limits:

Categories Quotas Per Year (Percentage)
EB-1: Priority Worker and Persons of Extraordinary Ability 28.6%
EB-2: Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability 28.6%
EB-3: Skilled Workers, Professionals and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers) 28.6%
EB-4: Certain Special Immigrants 7.1%
EB-5: Immigrant Investors 7.1%

Category 1: EB-1

Main advantage of this category is that the waiting time is much shorter than the other green cards, however not many applicants qualify for this visa as it is only available for applicants who are at the top of their field and have extraordinary ability. The first preference visa is divided into three subcategories:

  • EB-1A: Extraordinary Ability
  • EB-1B: Outstanding Professors and Researchers
  • EB-1C: Certain Multinational Manager or Executive

Category 2: EB-2

Professional with advanced degrees and/or exceptional abilities in science, arts or business will be eligible to apply for this category. Job offer and labor certification can be exempted if the exemption would be in the national interest. The second preference visa is divided into three subcategories:

  • EB-2A: Advanced Degree
  • EB-2B: Exemptional Ability
  • EB-2C: National Interest Waiver

Category 3: EB-3

This category is for skilled workers with at least 2 years of training or experience, professionals with a bachelor’s degree and working and unskilled workers performing jobs that requires less than 2 years of training.  The third preference visa is divided into three subcategories:

  • EB-3A: Skilled Workers
  • EB-3B: Professionals
  • EB-3C: Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)

Category 4: EB-4

Broad group of special immigrants with religious occupations, such as missionaries and priests, can apply. This category is generally intended for members of a non-profit religious denomination in the US, but the category can cover a broad range of other occupations. The fourth preference visa’s group of special immigrants are:

  • Religious Workers
  • Special Immigrant Juveniles
  • Broadcasters
  • G-4 International Organization or NATO-6 employees and their family members
  • International employees of the US government abroad
  • Armed forces members
  • Panama Canal Zone employees
  • Certain Physicians
  • Afghan and Iraqi translators
  • Afghan and Iraqi nationals who have provided faith service in support of US operations

Category 5: EB-5

Investors who can invest USD$1,800,000 and create 10 new full-time jobs (USD$9000,000 in a high-unemployment or rural area) will be able to apply for this category. Types of businesses that qualify for this fifth preference visa are:

  • A sole proprietorship
  • Partnership (whether limited or general)
  • Holding company
  • Joint venture
  • Corporation
  • Business trust or
  • Other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned