Employment-based green cards are immigrant visas that allow foreign nationals to live and work permanently in the United States.
These green cards are primarily granted to individuals who possess exceptional skills, professional qualifications, or who are sponsored by U.S. employers due to a shortage of qualified U.S. workers.
The EB-1 category is reserved for individuals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors or researchers, and multinational executives or managers. Extraordinary ability is demonstrated through sustained national or international acclaim in fields such as science, arts, education, business, or athletics. Outstanding professors or researchers must show international recognition for their achievements in a particular academic field. Multinational executives or managers are employees of multinational companies who are transferred to the United States to work in a managerial or executive capacity.
The EB-2 category is for professionals holding advanced degrees or individuals with exceptional ability in fields of science, art, or business. Advanced degree professionals must have a master's degree or higher, or a bachelor's degree with at least five years of progressive experience in their field. Exceptional ability is demonstrated by providing extensive documentation of expertise in the chosen field.
The EB-3 category is for skilled workers, professionals, and other workers. Skilled workers are those with at least two years of training or experience, while professionals hold a bachelor's degree or its equivalent. Other workers typically perform unskilled labor that requires less than two years of training or experience.
To obtain an employment-based green card, an employer or individual must go through a multi-step process. This includes filing a labor certification application with the U.S. Department of Labor, obtaining a petition approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and finally applying for an immigrant visa or adjusting status if the individual is already in the United States.
There are annual numerical limits for employment-based green cards, which are divided into different preference categories. EB-1 visas have no annual numerical limits, while EB-2 and EB-3 categories have limited quotas. These quotas, along with country-specific limitations, can result in significant waiting periods for certain nationalities, particularly for individuals from countries with high demand.
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