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Green Card for Employment-Based Immigrants

U.S. immigration law allows for the application for U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency based on employment or even the applicant’s own qualifications. The following are the specific employment-based categories: 

First preference (EB-1) priority workers: 


You may be eligible for the employment-based first-preference if you meet the requirements for one of the following categories: 

  1. Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A): You must demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics with sustained or international acclaim. No labor certification is required and no job offer is required. You must provide evidence of a one-time achievement such as an Oscar, Olympic Medal, Pulitzer, etc, or meet at least 3 of the following 10 criteria: 

    1. Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence 

    2. Evidence of membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievements of the association's members 

    3. Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media

    4. Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others including either on a panel or individually

    5. Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic or business related contributions of major significance to the field 

    6. Evidence of authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media

    7. Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases

    8. Evidence that you performed a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations

    9. Evidence that you command a high salary or other significant compensation in relation to others in the field 

    10. Evidence of your commercial success in the performing arts  

  2. Outstanding Professors and Researchers (EB-1B): You must demonstrate international recognition for your outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. You must have at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in your particular academic field. You must enter the U.S. to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or a comparable research position at a university, institution of higher education, or a private employer. The employer needs to provide a job offer and meet additional requirements. No labor certification is required. You also must meet at least 2 of the following 6 criteria: 

    1. Evidence of receipt of a major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement 

    2. Evidence of membership in an associations that require members to demonstrate outstanding achievement

    3. Evidence of published material in professional publications as the judge of someone's work in the same or similar academic field 

    4. Evidence of published material in professional publications written by others about the alien’s work in that particular academic field 

    5. Evidence of original scientific or scholarly contributions in the field 

    6. Evidence of authorship in scholarly books or articles in the field in scholarly journals with international circulation 

  3. Certain Multinational Managers or Executives (EB-1C): You must have been employed by an employer outside of the United States for at least 1 year in the past 3 years before the petition or the most recent lawful nonimmigrant admission if you are already working for a U.S. employer. The U.S. petitioner must have been doing business for at least 1 year, have a qualifying relationship to the entity you worked for outside the U.S., and intend to employ you in a managerial or executive capacity. No labor certification is required. 

The first step to obtain an EB-1 green card would be to file Form I-140 and supporting documentation as a labor certification is not required.

Second preference (EB-2): 


You may be eligible for an employment-based, second preference if you are a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or a foreign national who has exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Below are the occupational categories and requirements:

  1. Advanced Degree: The job you are applying for must require an advanced degree and you must possess such a degree or its foreign equivalent (a bachelorette degree or the foreign equivalent plus 5 years post-bachelors, progressive work experience in the field). 

  2. Exceptional Ability: You must show exceptional ability in science, arts or business. USCIS defines exceptional ability as a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business. You must meet at least 3 of the following criteria. 

    1. Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate or similar award from a college, university, school, or other learning institution that relates to your area of exceptional ability. 

    2. Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in the occupation. 

    3. A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation 

    4. Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services demonstrating your exceptional ability 

    5. Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations 

    6. Other comparable evidence of eligibility 

  3. National Interest Waiver: Aliens seeking a National Interest Waiver (NIW) are requesting that the Labor Certification be waived because it is in the best interest of the United States. Waivers are usually granted to those who have exceptional ability and whose employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation. No labor certification is required and no job offer is required. In addition to providing evidence of an advanced degree or exceptional ability they must meet the following: 

    1. The proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance.

    2. You are well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.

    3. It would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer, and thus the labor certification


Unless applying for the EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW), generally, the first step would be to file for the labor certification after obtaining the prevailing wage and performing the necessary recruitment.

Third preference (EB-3): 


This category includes skilled workers, professionals, or other workers and requires a permanent full-time job offer and labor certification.. The jobs of skilled workers require at least two years of experience or training and cannot be temporary or seasonal in nature; you must prove that you meet job opportunity's educational, training, or experience requirements per the labor certification. the job requirements specified on the labor certification. The jobs of professionals require at least a baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalent degree and membership in that profession. Finally, the jobs of others, is unskilled labor requiring with less than 2 years of training, education, or experience and is not temporary or seasonal in nature.  


Fourth preference (EB-4): 


This special immigrant category including but not limited to the following classifications:

Religious workers

Special immigrant juveniles

Certain broadcasters

Certain retired officers or employees (G-4 international organization or NATO-6 civilian)

Certain U.S. government employees abroad

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces

Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone government employees

Certain physicians who are licensed and practicing medicine in the U.S. since January 9, 1978

Afghan or Iraqi translators or interpreters

Iraqis and Afghans who were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government

Fifth preference (EB-5): 


Requires a necessary investment in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S.; and

Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.

USCIS provides further information regarding the specific requirements for EB-5 green cards on its website.

Contact attorney Rebecca Carcagno for a free case evaluation at (734) 999-0360 or

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