Permanent Employment Visa

Permanent immigration in the U.S. comes with a variety of rights and privileges. One of the most widely used methods to obtain permanent immigration is through employment. There are five classifications for employment-based immigration. Please click on the category that best suits your situation.

Learn about the following permanent employment visas on this page:

EB-1 Priority workers

The EB-1 classification is open to individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business or athletics; to outstanding professors or researchers; or to managers and executives soon to be transferred to the U.S.

Steps

Individuals with extraordinary ability may self-petition. All other EB-1 petitions should be filed by your employer.

Either you or your employer should file-in Form I-140, the Petition for Alien Worker with the INS Regional Service Center that has jurisdiction over the location of your employment. This form should contain all necessary documents and evidence. Labor certification is not required for EB-1 petitions.

Documents

Aliens with extraordinary ability are defined by INS as individuals with “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation.” The Nobel Prize or similar awards duly prove this status. However, there are alternative means of proving your extraordinary ability. You may submit at least three of the following types of evidence:

  • Receipt of lesser recognized prizes or awards for excellence.
  • Membership in associations in your area which demand outstanding achievement of their members.
  • Published material about you in major publications.
  • Proof that you have judged others’ works.
  • Proof that you have made original contributions to your field.
  • Proof that you have published articles about your field in major publications.
  • Proof that your work has been displayed in exhibitions or showcases.
  • High status in a distinguished organization.
  • Proof that you receive high payments for your work, in relation to your peers.
  • Proof of commercial success in the performing arts.
  • As an outstanding professor or researcher, you should be internationally recognized in your field. You should be coming to the U.S. to accept a tenure track position, and you should have had at least three years experience in your academic field.
  • Evidence of your status should include at least two of the following:
  • Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement.
  • Membership in associations in your area which demand outstanding achievement of their members.
  • Published material about you in major publications.
  • Proof that you have judged others’ works.
  • Proof that you have made original contributions to your field.
  • Proof that you have published articles about your field in major publications.

To be eligible for EB-1 classification as a manager or executive transferred to the U.S., you must have been employed outside the U.S. as a manager or executive for at least one out of the past three years. The company you work for must have been seeking to enter the U.S. to conduct business during that period of time.

EB-2 Professionals with advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability

The EB-2 classification is open to individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business, professionals with advanced degrees and physicians intending to practice medicine in undeserved areas.

Steps

Your employer should file-in Form I-140, the Petition for Alien Worker with the INS Regional Service Center that has jurisdiction over the location of your employment. This form should contain all necessary documents and evidence. Labor certification (Form ETA-750) is also required for most EB-2 petitions.

Individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business may apply to waive the labor certification requirement if a waiver would be in the national interest. To apply for this waiver, you should file-in Form ETA-750B.

Documents

A petition for a foreign national holding an advanced degree can be made when a position requiring an advanced degree becomes available in the U.S. Interested candidates must show proof of their education and at least five years work experience.

If you wish to be classified as having exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, you should intend to provide at least three of the following:

  • Proof of academic achievement, including diplomas, degrees or certificates from colleges or universities.
  • Letters that prove you have at least ten years of full-time experience in your field.
  • A license to practice your profession or certification in your specialty.
  • Proof that you have received a worthy salary for your services.
  • Membership in professional associations
  • Recognition in your field from peers, government officials or organizations.
  • If you can not provide documentation of three of these requirements, other documents may suffice.

EB-3 Skilled or professional workers

The EB-3 classification includes individuals with at least two years experience as skilled workers, professionals with bachelors’ degrees and the following: aliens with at least two years of experience as skilled workers; professionals with a baccalaureate degree; and other workers with less skills who can contribute abilities unavailable in the U.S.

Steps

Your employer should file-in INS Form I-140 Petition for Alien Workers with the INS Regional Service Center that has jurisdiction over the location of your employment. EB-3 petitions also require an approved Labor Certification (Form ETA-750) from the Department of Labor.

Documents

  • Skilled workers should have at least two years experience, either through hands-on experience or through post-secondary education.
  • Professionals should have either a U.S. bachelor’s degree or a foreign equivalent degree.

EB-4 Special Immigrants

The EB-4 classification includes religious workers and employees and former employees of the U.S. government abroad.

Steps (Immigrant Religious Worker)

Your employer should file-in INS Form I-360 with the INS Regional Service Center that has jurisdiction over the location of your employment. You should have been working with your religious organization for at least two years. You should be entering the U.S. to work in one of the following capacities:

  • As a minister or priest of your religious denomination
  • In a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupation for your religious organization (this requires a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent).
  • In a religious vocation or occupation for your religious organization or its nonprofit affiliate.

Documents (Immigrant Religious Worker)

Along with submitting Form I-360, you should provide the following documents:

  • Proof that your religious organization is a non-profit organization.
  • A letter from an official of your religious organization in the U.S. stating that you have been a member of the denomination for at least two years, and that you have at least two years experience in your vocation or occupation. The letter should also state certain details about your particular type of vocation/occupation.
  • This letter should also state how you will be paid for your work, and that you do not intend to supplement your income with a second job, or depend on charity for support.