EMPLOYMENT BASED IMMIGRANT VISAS: This article will be covering information on Employment-Based immigration for people who have found jobs in the USA from foreign countries.
There are various categories of US immigrant visas based on the reason for immigration. These categories include:
- Family-based immigrant visas for those who want to reunite with their families.
- Returning Resident visas for those who have once held a US immigrant visa and want to return to the country.
- Employment-based immigrant visa for those who have gotten jobs in the US.
- Diversity visas for those with low rates of immigration to the US.
This article will go through every important information that has to do with the employment-based immigrant visas.
WHAT ARE EMPLOYMENT BASED IMMIGRANT VISAS?
People from foreign countries who have found jobs in the USA are the ones who use the employment-based visas. The employers sponsor the employee’s stay in the US so they can stay and work in their company.
You do not need an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) when you have an immigrant work visa. People working in the US with non-immigrant work visas such as the H-1B visa or similar ones are to use an EAD.
With this type of visa, you can live in the US and be a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR). You can also enroll in school, own property, get a driver’s license as well as travel in and out of the US for short periods of time.
Many people want to acquire immigrant work visas because they are so attractive. But it has been limited by the US government to 140, 000 visas per year. This means that only 140, 000 visas are available each year among all the types of employment visas. Due to this, the waiting time for the employment-based visa can be quite long. When the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues 140, 000 visa, the others are processed in the following year.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF IMMIGRANT WORK VISAS?
There are different types of work visas since here are different jobs as well. These types of employment-based visas are as follows:
EB-1 VISA FOR FIRST PRIORITY WORKERS
The EB-1 visas are meant for these groups of people:
- Executive managers who have worked at a foreign branch of a US company for the past 3 years
- Outstanding professors and researchers
- People with extraordinary abilities in science, art, athletics, business or education.
EB-2 VISA FOR SECOND PRIORITY WORKERS
The EB-2 visa for:
- Professionals with advanced degrees
- Those who have extraordinary abilities in art science or business
EB-3 VISA FOR THIRD PRIORITY WORKERS
The EB-3 visas are for:
- Skilled workers with more than 2years of experience
- Unskilled workers with less than two years of experience
- Professionals with a higher education degree
This third group gets EW-3 visas, which is a subcategory of the EB-3 visa for unskilled workers.
EB4 VISA FOR FOURTH PRIORITY WORKERS
This category includes different occupations such as:
- Those who work in international organizations
- The public or government sector or
- Religious organizations.
EB-5 VISA FOR FIFTH PRIORITY WORKERS
This is a visa meant for investors in the US economy. The investment, which should be between $500, 000 to $1, 000, 000, must create jobs and increase economic development. This visa has four subcategories such as:
- C-5 visa for investors who create jobs out of target areas
- T-5 visa for those who create jobs in targeted rural or high unemployment areas
- R-5 visa for investors who participate in an investor pilot program, not in a target area
- I-5 visa for investors who participate in an investor pilot program in a targeted area
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF EMPLOYMENT BASED IMMIGRANT VISAS?
The requirements are different for each of the five categories of visas. You might end up getting rejected if you do not fulfill the requirements for the visa you are applying for. This is so because the competition makes it very difficult to get a visa.
The EB-1 visa has the most difficult requirements to meet given that the visa is for people with extraordinary abilities. Some of the requirements include:
- Evidence that you published papers or contributed to high-quality research recognized by the media.
- Proof that you have received international or national prizes or awards for your achievement
- Proof that you evaluated other people’s work as an individual or in a panel.
- Evidence that you wrote articles that were published in trade journals or the media.
There are many other requirements for the EB-1 visa, which you can find in the EB-1 article
In order to qualify for the EB-2 visa, you must be able to prove that;
- You should have a license or certificate that shows that you excelled in your field.
- You have an advanced educational degree (bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, etc.)
- You have won awards, diplomas or certificates in your field.
- You have at least 5 years of experience in your field of study after your bachelor’s degree.
This visa also has more requirements that can be found in the EB-2 visa article.
The requirements for the EB-3 and EB-4 visas are as follows:
- A US employer must have offered you a full-time job
- You must meet the qualifications of the job based on your education and experience
There are certain requirements that the employer must meet to be able to sponsor you for the EB-3 and EB-4 visas:
- The employer must be financially stable to sponsor the worker and pay the salary
- Prove that they were unable to find a US worker for that position
Last but not the least, here are the requirements for the EB-5 visa;
- Invest in a company that was established on or before November 29th, 1990
- You must invest between $500,000 and $1,000,000 in the company.
- The company’s net worth must be increased by at least 40% or the employees must increase by at least 10 people in two years.
HOW TO APPLY FOR EMPLOYMENT BASED IMMIGRANT VISAS?
The application procedures for all five categories of employment based immigrant visas are similar. The procedure involves both the employer and the employee. In the case of the investor visa, the application must start from the employer. Below are the steps to apply:
STEP 1: GET THE LABOR CERTIFICATION
The US employer must show that they were unable to find a suitable US worker for the job in order to be able to hire a foreign worker. This explains why they must file form ETA750 to the department of labor. This equally proves that they will pay a non-discriminating salary to the foreign worker. The EB-5 visa doesn’t require this step.
STEP 2: FILE THE PETITION
The employer must file the petition after getting the labor certification. This is form I-140, immigrant petition for an alien worker to USCIS. In case it is an EB-5 visa, the investor files form I-526, immigrant petition by alien entrepreneur. This petition helps to inform USCIS that the employer wants to sponsor that specific employee and that they fulfill the criteria for the visa.
The petition is processed by the USCIS and they inform the employer and the employee of their decision. The National Visa Center (NVC) will take over the case if it is approved, they will assign a case and invoice ID number.
The NVC will send a package with instructions when it’s your time for processing. The employee must follow these instructions to apply for the visa.
STEP 3: FILE FORM DS-260 OR 261
These are the official visa application forms for immigrants. You must either file form DS-260 OR DS-261 depending on the instructions.
STEP 4: COMPLETE MEDICAL EXAMINATION AND VACCINATION
The type of medical examination and vaccinations you must do will depend on the instructions given to you in the NVC package. You must complete them at a licensed doctor or hospital and be sure to keep the records.
STEP 5: COMPILE THE SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS FILE
You must submit supporting documents. These documents will depend on the type of visa you are applying for. They serve as evidence that you meet the criteria for the visa, examples of supporting documents include:
- Your employment offer from the US employer
- Your signed medical and vaccination documents
- Academic achievements, diplomas, etc.
- The approved petition
- Your valid passport for at least 6 months after your intended entry into the US
- Two photographs meeting the photo requirements for the US visa
- The approved labor certification
- Your DS-260/261 confirmation page
Other supporting documents might be asked by the NVC depending on the case and the type of visa.
STEP 6: ATTEND VISA INTERVIEW
You will have a visa interview after processing. This interview usually takes place at the US embassy where you applied. The interviewer in charge will ask you questions concerning your background and application. They will make a decision about your case at the end of the interview.
STEP 7: RECEIVE NVC PACKAGE AND TRAVEL TO THE US
The NVC will send a package for your travel if you get the visa. Under no circumstance should this package be opened. You must take the package along with you when you travel to the US. The package shall be opened by the immigration official at the US port of entry and they shall then decide whether or not to let you enter the US.
WHAT ARE THE EMPLOYMENT-BASED IMMIGRATION VISA FEES?
To apply for the visa, there are many fees that must be paid by both the employee and the employer. These fees include:
- USCIS form I-140 petition filing fee (employer)= $700
- Form DS-260/261 processing fee (employee) = $230
- DOL labor certification fee (paid by the employer)
- USCIS form I-526 petition filing fee (for EB-5)=$3,675
- Fees to get supporting documents
- Any translation fees from foreign language to English (employee)
- Medical examination fees (employee)
[Also Read]: US Work Visa – Types of US Work Visas For Temporary Employment