Employment-based (EB) immigration
The United States’ Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) has long recognized the value that skilled foreign employees add to the U.S. economy. There are numerous paths available to both companies and workers to secure permanent and temporary entry into the United States on the basis of employment.
The visa options, requirements, and limitations for temporary employment are numerous and varied. Many require a United States employer’s petition for a foreign national employee, and the employee selected is often limited in his or her employment options and duration of stay. Most individuals start their journey with temporary visa before becoming permanent resident and some of these temporary employment visas include:
- O-1 Extraordinary Ability: This path is available to select, qualifying high achievers in a particular profession.
- E-1/E-2 Investor/Trader Treaty: The U.S. has trade and/or investor treaties with dozens of countries through which a foreign national may secure the right to live and work in the country for a limited time.
- H-1B Specialty Occupation: Qualified individuals who work in a specialty occupation may obtain an employment-based visa.
- L-1 Intracompany Transferees: This category permits sufficiently affiliated, qualifying companies to transfer eligible employees into the U.S. for temporary work assignments.
- TN NAFTA: Citizens of Mexico and Canada engaged in certain professional activities may be eligible for this status.
Once in the United States, most, if not all, individuals elect to become permanent residents. The INA provides foreign citizens with several routes to become lawful permanent residents (i.e., obtain a Green Card) of the United States through employment. Employers often, but not always, sponsor a foreign worker through the PERM process upon showing there are no United States employees who can or will do a particular job. Permanent employment-based (EB) “preference immigrant” categories include:
- First preference (EB-1) – priority workers with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; or Certain multinational managers and executives.
- Second preference (EB-2) – workers who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or who have exceptional ability (including requests for national interest waivers).
- Third preference (EB-3) – skilled workers, professionals, or other workers.
- Fourth preference (EB-4) – special immigrants such as religious workers, broadcasters, select physicians, Afghan and Iraqi translators, and NATO-6 employees and family members, among other categories.
- Fifth preference (EB-5) – foreign nationals who make a substantial investment in U.S. business.
Helping Businesses & Employees With Employment-based Immigration
Attorney Joey A. Chbeir at Capstone Law, LLC, has substantial experience working with employers, individuals, and USCIS in securing employment-based immigration, both temporary and permanent. If you have a need for these services, contact us to speak with an experienced immigration attorney. There is no fee for an initial consultation.