Classes of Employment-Based Visas

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  • Immigration Law for Employers - An Overview
  • Key Immigration Concepts and Terms
  • PERM Process
  • Classes of Employment-Based Visas
  • Applying for Temporary Worker Visas
  • Types of Temporary Worker Visas
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Immigration Law
  • Immigration Law for Employers Resource Links
  • Immigration, Employer Focus Contact Form

Classes of Employment-Based Visas

The first step for an employer desiring to employ a foreign national for full-time employment is determining if the worker is eligible for permanent residence. There currently are four groups prioritized based on occupational preferences mandated by Congress. Contact WHGC, P.L.C. in Newport Beach, California, to discuss your business' employment immigration needs with an experienced immigration attorney.

EB-1 Priority Workers

This class of workers receives first priority for gaining permanent resident status for employment-based immigration. This class applies to foreign nationals:

  • With extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business or athletics that has been recognized and documented
  • Outstanding professors and researchers with international recognition
  • Multinational executives and managers who have been employed for at least one year by a firm, corporation or other legal entity or one of its affiliates or subsidiaries and seeks to enter the U.S. to continue to work for the same employer, its subsidiary or affiliate

EB-2 Professionals with Advanced Degrees or Persons with Exceptional Ability

This class applies to foreign nationals who have attained advanced degrees or their equivalent in their home countries and whose skills, knowledge and experience will be a benefit to the U.S.. Foreign nationals without advanced degrees, but who have demonstrated exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business also are included in this class.

In order to prove exceptional ability, foreign nationals must have more evidence to present than merely a degree, certificate, licensure, diploma or certification.

EB-3 Professional, Skilled or Other Workers

  • Professionals: foreign nationals who hold baccalaureate degrees and work in the profession sought by the employer
  • Skilled workers: foreign nationals who are qualified to perform skilled labor (defined as requiring at a minimum two years of training or experience)
  • Other workers: foreign nationals who are qualified and capable of performing unskilled labor

It is important to note that for the EB-3 category, the work being performed must be full-time - it cannot be temporary or seasonal work. Additionally, the employer will have to apply for and be granted labor certification by the Department of Labor. Part of this certification requires the employer to submit a report documenting his or her efforts to find U.S. workers to fill the positions and showing that there are no U.S. workers qualified, able, will and available to fill the open positions at the current wage.

EB-4 Special Immigrants

This class includes certain types of immigrants such as:

  • Religious workers
  • Government employees and former employees of the U.S. government abroad
  • Physicians meeting certain requirements
  • Panama Canal Company employees and Canal Zone government employees

Other foreign nationals also may be eligible to immigrate to the U.S. through the EB-4 class. For a complete list, see 8 U.S.C.A. § 1101(27).

If a potential worker is eligible under one of these four classes, the employer can file a Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) center. For certain workers, the employer may need to file for a Department of Labor Foreign Labor Certification prior to filing the petition with the USCIS.

Speak to an Immigration Lawyer

For more information on employment-based visa applications, contact WHGC, P.L.C. in Newport Beach, California. An experienced immigration attorney can explain the requirements to you and help you file the correct documentation.