How to Get Employment-Based Green Cards


One of the possible and perhaps less complicated means of obtaining a green card and eventual permanent residency in the United States is through the so-called employment process. It may be faster compared to family-based immigration. Many US employers are keen in sponsoring foreign nationals for potential employment. These companies have sufficient legal and monetary resources that can accelerate your application for immigration.

There are Visa preference categories which place emphasis on particular jobs or careers that can lead to permanent residency for applicants. The preference category classifies work according to education level required in accomplishing the job. You can go through the monthly Visa Bulletin of the US Department of State which spells out groupings for employment-based visas. The circular also gives details on general education prerequisites for each classification.

First Preference (EB1) is intended for individual with special skills or talents. These can be academic professors, scientists and researchers or top corporate executives. Second Preference (EB2) includes professionals with master’s degrees or higher programs. The person can be an expert in enterprise, science or the arts. The waiting time may be very brief and you can get the green card without many complications. Careers in said level are Accounting, Engineering, Financial Management, Chemistry, and Business Analysis.

Foreigners can always look at the Department of Labor O*Net site. It gathers statistics with reference to job markets as well as career field; educational background and experience; jobs that are always in demand; labor market requirements; and, prospective salaries or compensation. You must be ready to present meritorious achievements; contributions to a specific industry; recognition by governments, industries and peers; accolades; authorship of publications and papers; and, high earnings. It will help if you can show certifications highlighting 10 years or more of experience in this field. The services of an immigration lawyer will come in handy.

Third Preference (EB3) is designed for positions that call for a minimum of bachelor’s degree or its equivalent that justifies performance of the job. The method is generally quicker in securing a green card compared to the traditional immigrant visa. The drawback is there are also numerous applicants for this category so waiting time is relatively longer. The duration can be a minimum of four years and usually more than this period.

However, it is always possible to search for sponsoring employers for this Visa or a non-immigrant but work-authorized Visa. These are the L-1 or H-1B programs. It can be an alternative while you wait for a permanent employment-based green card. Your other options include Green Cards by way of making investments in business or entrepreneurship. On the other hand, Green Card through the process of self-petition are open to certain immigrant categories awarded a Waiver of National Interest or foreigners with extraordinary capabilities. Study the requirements posted at the website of the USCIS at (

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