Employment-Based Visas for Alien Workers
Employers may also petition for immigrant employees to receive green cards in order to work with them. (Don’t confuse this with the many temporary visas that also require employer petitions, such as an H-1B.) Some immigrating workers don’t need an employer to petition for them, however.
For an employer to bring in a foreign citizen to work, it must get labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. This involves proving that no U.S. workers are ready, willing, and available to take the job being offered. Then the employer will file a petition called the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker with USCIS. There are five categories for these types of visas.
- Employment First Preference (E1) includes three subcategories. The first is priority workers who have extraordinary abilities in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics. These workers are able to file their own petitions, without needing an employer — although they must intend to continue working in the same field. The second subcategory is for outstanding, internationally recognized professors and researchers, who have at least three years of experience and a job offer from a U.S. institution of higher education. The third subcategory includes multinational managers and executives of US companies who have worked for at least three years at the U.S. company’s overseas branch offices, subsidiaries, or affiliates. These individuals also need a job offer to immigrate.
- Employment Second Preference (E2) has two subcategories. The first is for professionals who have advanced degrees (beyond a baccalaureate or B.A.) or those who have a B.A. plus at least five years progressive experience. The second is for workers with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business.
- Employment Third Preference (E3) has three subcategories. The first includes skilled workers, with a minimum of two years’ training or work experience and not coming for a temporary or seasonal job. The second is for members of the professions whose jobs require at least a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. university or college or its foreign equivalent. The third is for unskilled workers, able to fill positions that require less than two years training or experience and that are not temporary or seasonal.
- Employment Fourth Preference (E4), also called “special immigrants,” includes too many subcategories to list here. The main ones include ministers, broadcasters, certain U.S. government employees, certain religious workers, children who are dependents of the juvenile court system, and people who have worked for or on behalf of the US government, including Iraqi and Afghani interpreters and translators.
- Employment Fifth Preference (E5) (the “investor visa”) includes immigrants who want to invest at least $1,000,000 (or $500,000 in an economically depressed area) in a business that will create a minimum of ten new full-time jobs for U.S. citizens, permanent residents or other lawful immigrants (other than the immigrant and his or her immediate family). This category does not require labor certification
If you are an employer or employee exploring your options, please call (678) 324-8511 or click here for more information.