Immigrant Visas - Green Card
are visas that provide permission to work temporarily in the United States based on a specific job offer by a U.S. employer. Visas require a visa petition by an employer that must be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) before employment authorization is granted.
Specialty Occupation Visa
Employment in a Specialty Occupation under the H-1B visa category is the most common basis for temporary employment authorization. It requires a position that commonly requires a four year college or university degree in a specific field as entry qualification and a related degree by the applicant. Those applicants who do not hold such a degree may qualify by virtue of experience. It is important to know that H-1B visas are subject to an annual quota so that visas are often not readily available. Call for current time frames.
There is a separate Specialty Occupation Visa category for Canadian/Mexican Nationals (TN) that covers specific occupations or Australian Nationals (E-3) which are usually available throughout the year and can be obtained without prior approval of a visa petition by USCIS.
Multinational Companies that operate in and outside the U.S. can seek to transfer employees, who have been employed abroad, to their U.S. counterparts under the L visa category once the employee worked for at least one year within the past three years for the organization outside the U.S. Qualifying employees include executives, managers or workers who posses skills that are essential to the company's business.
Extraordinary Ability / Achievement
In order to qualify under the O-1 visa category based on extraordinary ability category the applicant must be one of the small percentage who has risen to the VERY top of a field of endeavor in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. This category applies only to very well recognized professionals with different degrees of recognition for artists and professionals in the motion picture or TV industry. Please call if you think you may qualify for a review of your background.
are visas that provide permission to live and work for anyone permanently in the United States because of specific qualifications for certain jobs or a U.S. employer cannot find a qualified U.S. worker for particular vacant job. Requirements and wait times for obtaining a green card through employment greatly depend on the preference classification of a worker/position. Generally the higher the preference group, the short the wait is.
It is important to understand that a green card application through employment can take considerable time to be concluded and does generally not provide for employment authorization before an application is approved. For applicants to work in the U.S. while the application process is ongoing or has reached a certain stage, they will have to secure an appropriate nonimmigrant visa to be in the U.S. and work or have to remain outside the U.S.
EB-1 Preference Workers
Individuals who have an extraordinary ability (demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim), are an outstanding professor or researcher (demonstrated by international recognition for outstanding achievements in a particular academic field plus three years experience in teaching or research in that academic area), or are a multinational executive or manager may qualify for a green card as an EB-1 preference worker without demonstrating that no other equally qualified U.S. workers available. Each occupational category has complex requirements that must be met. Please call if you think you may qualify.
EB-2 / EB-3 Preference Workers
Individuals who hold an masters degree or a bachelors degree plus 5 years progressive work experience in a specific field may seek a green card as an EB-2 preference worker. To qualify a U.S. employer must offer them a job that requires that specific qualification and demonstrate that no qualified U.S. worker is available to fill the position through a process called Labor Certification / PERM. Only once the U..S. Department of Labor issues Labor Certification, can the employer petition the worker for a green card. E-2 preference workers are only exempt from the labor certification requirement if their employment is in the national interest of the U.S.
Individuals who seek to apply for a green card through a job that requires a lesser degree or experience fall under the EB-3 preference and always require Labor Certification / PERM before an employer can request an immigrant visa leading to a green card for them.