What Are The Different Types Of Employment Visa Options?
Under employment, there are five categories of visas—the EB-1 for extraordinary abilities, the EB-2 for advanced degrees, the EB-3 for skilled and unskilled workers, the EB-4 for 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 or employment immigration attorney at our offices 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 or naturalization 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 are 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 no qualified 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. Remember, your employment immigration attorney and naturalization attorney is on your side, and they will work aggressively to make sure you get a fair opportunity to achieve all your goals for working and living in the United States.
Green Card Lottery
The annual green card lottery program is an opportunity for potential immigrants to obtain status as a permanent legal resident of the U.S. The lottery program runs every year and provides green cards to applicants who are randomly selected. However, it is important to note that applicants must apply far in advance of the date 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 and naturalization 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. A small percentage of applicants (less than one percent) will be 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 Can 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 you must have a Master’s degree or a PhD, and you have identified an employer who will 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, are working in the field of your degree, and have five years of experience, then you may qualify under the advanced degree program. Talk to your employment immigration attorney and get full details on exactly what you’ll need to qualify.
The EB-3 is for skilled workers, which usually means people with a Bachelor’s degree or an Associate’s degree. However, unskilled workers can sometimes also qualify. A seasoned employment immigration attorney will provide you with detailed information on every possible avenue he or she can pursue to achieve success with your immigration goals.
The EB-4 category 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 is coming to the U.S. with significant 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 For Obtaining An Employment-Based Green Card?
Most people who get an employment-based green card receive either the EB-2 or the EB-3 visa. It’s a three-step process. The first step is to present yourself to the Department of Labor so that they can verify there is a legitimate need for a foreign worker, instead of an American worker. Once that’s complete, your situation will be evaluated by 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 particular skillset of that employee.
If steps one and two are successfully hurdled, the potential employee is qualified to come to the U.S., 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 U.S. population.
Talk to your employment immigration attorney and take the guesswork out of the process. The best way to know what to do, and what your chance of success will be with any visa, is to hire a skilled employment immigration attorney or naturalization attorney.
Must I Always Be Sponsored By An Employer?
No, there are certain specific cases in which an employee sponsor is unnecessary. For example, the EB-1 visa (provided for extraordinary achievement) only requires that you promise to use the skill set that makes you extraordinary for the benefit of the United States. The other exception is the EB-5, in which you will be creating jobs by hiring 10 people, so you don’t have to be sponsored by someone else in that case. Other than that, it’s always an employer-employee relationship. You have to verify that it’s not a sub-contractor relationship, but is in fact a W2 employer-employee situation. The employer can also be an individual. Sometimes, for instance, an individual or couple may want to hire a nanny for their children and they don’t want to incorporate or become some kind of legal entity. In this scenario they can just get a Tax ID number and act as an individual sponsor.
What If I Want To Become A Naturalized Citizen?
You may desire to become an actual U.S. citizen through the immigration process of naturalization. Naturalization is the only means through which someone could become a U.S. citizen if they were not born as a U.S. citizen, or failed to acquire citizenship immediately after birth.
The requirements for naturalization are as follows:
- You must be able to read, write, and speak English;
- You are required to have a general knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
- You must demonstrate that you have a good moral character;
- You must show an allegiance to the ideals of the U.S. Constitution;
- You must have a favorable disposition toward the U.S.; and
- You must maintain continued residence or a physical presence in the U.S. for a specified period of time.
How Do I Get More Information? How Can I Get Started?
For more information on Different Employment Visa Options, an initial consultation is your next best step. As your employment immigration and naturalization attorney, we’ll always be there for you, working hard to help you achieve your goals.
Get the information and legal answers you are seeking. Call us today at our Rockville, MD office: (301) 750-9555.
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