What Are The Different Types Of Employment Visa Options?
Under employment, there are five categories of visas. There is the EB-1 for extraordinary abilities, the EB-2 for advanced degrees, the EB-3 for skilled and unskilled workers, the EB-4 for people who are religious leaders, and the EB-5 for million dollar investors.
Before working in the U.S., a citizen of a foreign country must first obtain a U.S. work visa. The visa provides entry to the U.S. An employment visa attorney in Rockville, MD can help make the determination of which type of work visa you should apply for.
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Having a visa does not guarantee entry to the U.S. However, it does mean that a consular officer at a U.S. embassy or consulate has determined that you are eligible to seek entry for the purpose listed on that visa. There are five different types of work visas with different requirements, all of which you should discuss with your Rockville, MD employment visa attorney.
- EB-1: for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational managers and executives.
- EB2: for foreign nationals who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or who have exceptional abilities in their field.
- EB3: for foreign nationals who are skilled workers, professionals, or other workers.
- EB4: for special immigrants, like religious workers, abused juveniles, and retired employees of certain international organizations.
- EB5: for immigrant investors who have invested or investing at least one million dollars in a new commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 10 full-time employment positions.
It is possible to become a permanent resident of the United States through employment. However, some categories of work visas require a certification from the U.S. Department of Labor, showing that there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available in the geographic area where the immigrant wishes to be employed, and that qualified no American worker will be displaced by foreign workers. United States immigration law provides foreign nationals with a variety of ways to eventually obtain a green card through employment in the United States. Discuss these options with your employment visa attorney in Rockville, MD.
Green Card Lottery
The annual green card lottery program is an opportunity for potential immigrants to obtain the status as a permanent legal resident of the U.S. The lottery program runs each year and provides green cards to applicants who are randomly selected. Applicants must apply quite far in advance of the date when they would like to actually enter the country. The current lottery winners will be able to enter the country in 2021. If you wish to apply for the next lottery, contact an immigration attorney in Rockville, Maryland.
Eligibility for the lottery program is limited for natives from certain countries. The eligible country list is posted with the guidelines for each year’s lottery application. Less than one percent of applicants end up being selected to undergo the process, which includes detailed background checks. The State Department presently estimates that 55,000 green cards will be awarded as a result of the next lottery.
Immigrants from the following countries are excluded from the green card lottery:
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- South Korea
- United Kingdom (other than Northern Ireland)
Who Would Qualify For An Employment Based Green Card?
In EB-1, people who have won the Nobel peace prize and others who are recognized nationally or internationally to be the best in their field are eligible for an employment based green card. They don’t need to have a sponsor. The EB-2 category is for people with advanced degrees, which means to you have a Master’s degree or a PhD, and you have an employer who wants to hire you in your skilled industry. In the Master’s category, you can substitute years of experience for the Master’s degree. If you have a four-year degree and you are working in that field, and you have five years of experience, then you can qualify under the advanced degree program.
The EB-3 is for skilled workers, which usually means people with a Bachelor’s degree or an Associate’s degree. Unskilled workers can also qualify. The EB-4 is for a person who is a cleric or at least associated, who has worked for two years in that position and is being sponsored by a religious church, synagogue, or mosque. That sponsor must be a 501 c 3 recognized religious entity. The EB-5 is for a person who has to come here with money to invest. They have $1 million and they’re going to create a business with at least 10 employees, not counting the person who is coming or their family members.
What Is The Process Of Obtaining An Employment Based Green Card?
Most people, when they get an employment based green card, get either the EB-3 or the EB-2 visa. It’s a three- step process. The first step is to present yourself to the Department of Labor, so that they can verify that there truly is a need for a foreign worker as opposed to an American worker. Once that’s complete, then you go through the Department of Homeland Security and USCIS, who will verify that the employer is qualified to hire you. They’ll also verify that the employer has the ability to pay the salary that is required and they’ll analyze whether the company actually needs the skillset that the employee is going to bring. Once you get through steps one and two, the potential employee is qualified to come to the US, assuming they don’t have a criminal record, they’re not running away from the law, and that they don’t have a communicable disease that will affect the US population.
Must I Always Be Sponsored By An Employer?
For the EB-1 visa for extraordinary achievement, all you have to do is promise that you will use the skill set that makes you extraordinary for the benefit of the United States. The other exception is the EB-5, where you create jobs by hiring 10 people, so you don’t have to be sponsored by someone else. Other than that, it’s always an employee-employer relationship. You have to verify that it’s not a sub-contractor relationship; it’s a W2 employer-employee situation. The employer can also be an individual. Sometimes, for instance, people want to hire a nanny for their children and they don’t have to incorporate or become some kind of legal entity. They can just get a Tax ID number, as an individual sponsor.
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