Every single year, there are people from throughout the world who would like to come to the United States to work. For this reason, the U.S. has made available 140,000 immigrant visas annually for these permanent workers. These, however, are not given away as a free-for-all. Instead, potential employees are split up based on several different factors – including skill set, education, background and more. The employees are then categorized based upon “preference.”
The five categories of preference include the following:
Employees who are given first preference for permanent worker visas are typically referred to as “priority workers.” These are generally those who have been determined to have extraordinary abilities in their field – from business to science or arts. It could be anyone from a renowned professor to business executive.
Those who are classified as second preference as immigrants who either have an advanced degree of “exceptional ability.” In most cases, these people must have labor certification (explained below), however, in some cases the immigrant can petition for a national interest waiver.
Third preference is for those who are skilled workers, professionals or those who fall into the category of “unskilled workers.” Skilled workers and professionals must have considerable experience and/or an advanced degree in their areas of interest. Unskilled workers must be coming into the U.S. for a job that requires less than two years of experience. All must prove no Americans are available for the job.
Fourth preference visas are given to those categorized as “special immigrants.” There are several different types of people that can fall into this category – including certain religious workers, retired NATO-6 employees and more. To learn whether or not you classify, contact a lawyer.
Those who fall into the fifth preference category are foreign investors. This is an immigrant investor visa which allows for those willing to invest either a million of $500,000 in a targeted employment area into a domestic company. This must offer full-time employment for at least 10 American employees.
For second and third preference workers, they will need labor certification to come into the United States (except for those who successfully gain a national interest waiver). This is essentially something that proves the immigrant in question has received a valid job offer and must be submitted by the employer on behalf of the employee. Once the employer has petitioned on their behalf, they officially become their sponsor. By filling out and submitting labor certification, the employer is verifying that the job they are offering cannot be adequately filled by a domestic worker. They are also stating that by hiring someone from abroad that they will not be negatively affecting wages of domestic workers.
Seeking an employment-based visa is often the preferred method for people coming to the United States to pursue their future. This, however, can be complex. Determining which category you are eligible for, the paperwork you need and the deadlines you are under can be a headache – especially when you consider the limited amount of visas available each year. To ensure you are given the best possible chance of success, it is in your best interests to consult with a New York immigration lawyer. Pozo Goldstein, LLP is proud to represent clients who are seeking an employment-based visa. To schedule your initial case consultation with a member of our firm, please pick up the phone and give us a call today.
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