Employment Based Green Cards Lawyer in San Jose and Silicon Valley

Employment Based Green Card Options

EB1 Green Card for Priority Workers

One may be eligible for an employment-based, first-preference visa if they have an extraordinary ability, are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager. Each occupational category has certain requirements that must be met.


Aliens with extraordinary ability are those with “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation.”

You must be one of “that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor,” to be granted this classification. For example, if you receive a major internationally recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, you will qualify for an EB-1 classification.

Other awards may also qualify if you can document that the award is in the same class as a Nobel Prize. Since few workers receive this type of award, alternative evidence of EB-1 classification based on at least three of the types of evidence outlined below, is permitted. The worker may submit “other comparable evidence” if the following criteria do not apply:

  • Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence;
  • Membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members;
  • Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  • Evidence that the alien has judged the work of others, either individually or on a panel;
  • Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field;
  • Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  • Evidence that the alien’s work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  • Performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations;
  • Evidence that the alien commands a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field;
  • Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts.

Outstanding professors and researchers are recognized internationally for their outstanding academic achievements in a particular field. In addition, an outstanding professor or researcher must have at least three years experience in teaching or research in that academic area, and enter the U.S. in a tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education. If the employer is a private company rather that a university or educational institution, the department, division, or institute of the private employer must employ at least three persons full time in research activities and have achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.

Evidence that the professor or researcher is recognized as outstanding in the academic field must include documentation of at least two of the following:

  • Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement;
  • Membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievements;
  • Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien’s work in the academic field;
  • Participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field;
  • Original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field;
  • Authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field.

Some executives and managers of foreign companies who are transferred to the U.S. may qualify. A multinational manager or executive is eligible for priority worker status if he or she has been employed outside the U.S. in the three years preceding the petition for at least one year by a firm or corporation and seeks to enter the U.S to continue service to that firm or organization. The employment must have been outside the United States in a managerial or executive capacity and with the same employer, an affiliate, or a subsidiary of the employer.

The petitioner must be a U.S. employer, doing business for at least one year, that is an affiliate, a subsidiary, or the same employer as the firm, corporation or other legal entity that employed the foreign national abroad.


EB2 Green Card for Advanced Degrees

There are three types of EB2 Green Card Visas.

  • EB-2(A): for foreign nationals professionals with an ‘advanced degrees’ (masters degree or higher) and with a job offer from a U.S. company.
  • EB-2(B): for foreign nationals with ‘exceptional ability’ in the sciences, business or arts and with a job offer from a U.S. company.
  • EB-2(C): for foreign nationals with exceptional ability, or an advanced degree, who can show that their activities will substantially benefit the U.S. national interest

The EB2 visa classification includes: aliens who are “members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent” and aliens “who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the United States.”

A petition for a foreign professional holding an advanced degree may be filed when the job requires an advanced degree (beyond the baccalaureate) and the alien possesses such a degree or the equivalent. The petition must include documentation, such as an official academic record showing that the alien has a U.S. advanced degree or a foreign equivalent degree, or an official academic record showing that the alien has a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree and letters from current or former employers showing that the alien has at least 5 years of progressive post-baccalaureate experience in the specialty.

Qualified alien physicians who will be practicing medicine in an area of the United States certified by the Department of Health and Human Services as underserved may also qualify for this classification. Read more about this program.

In order to be classified as having exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, the individual must provide documentation of three of the following:

  • An official academic record showing the alien has a degree, diploma, certificate or similar award from a college, university, school or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability;
  • Letters documenting at least ten years of full-time experience in the occupation being sought;
  • A license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation;
  • Evidence that the alien has commanded a salary or other remuneration for services which demonstrates exceptional ability;
  • Membership in professional associations;
  • Recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, government entities, professional or business organizations.

If the above standards do not apply to the petitioner’s occupation, other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.


EB3 Green Card for Professional and Skilled Workers

EB3 Green Card category consists of (1) professionals, (2) skilled workers and (3) unskilled workers. Most EB3 petitions require that an employer obtain the approval of a PERM application from the U.S. Department of Labor before sponsoring the person for permanent residence.


EB3 GREEN CARD CLASSIFICATION INCLUDES:

  • Aliens with at least two years of experience as skilled workers;
  • Professionals with a baccalaureate degree; and
  • Other workers with less than two years experience, such as an unskilled worker who can perform labor for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.

While eligibility requirements for the EB3 Professional Worker classification are less stringent than the EB1 and EB2 classifications, you should be aware that a long backlog exists for visas in the “other workers” category.

Professionals must hold a U.S. baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalent degree that is normally required for the profession. Education and experience may not be substituted for the degree.

Skilled Worker positions are not seasonal or temporary and require at least two years of experience or training. The training requirement may be met through relevant post-secondary education. The Form ETA-750 (Labor Certification) states the job requirements, which determine whether a job is skilled or unskilled. For more information, please see the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration Website.

Other Workers are in positions that require less than two years of higher education, training, or experience. However, due to the long backlog, a petitioner could expect to wait many years before being granted a visa under this category. See How Do I Get an Immigrant Visa Number? for more information.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Your employer must file a USCIS Form I-140 at the USCIS Regional Service Center that serves the area where you will work. All I-140 EB3 petitions must include a labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer. There are no exceptions. Additional guidance relating to Department of Labor requirements is found at the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration Website.


EB4 Green Card for Religious Workers and Special Immigrants

The EB4 Green Card category is reserved for a broad group of special immigrants that most commonly includes religious workers, broadcasters, Iraqi / Afghan translators, Iraqis who have assisted the United States, international organization employees, physicians, armed forces members, Panama Canal zone employees, retired NATO-6 employees, as well as spouses and children of deceased NATO-6 employees.


EB4 Green Card is a Special Immigrant Category for Religious Workers.

In order to qualify for an EB4 Green Card, you must be a member of a religious denomination that has a non-profit religious organization in the United States. You must have been a member of this religious denomination for at least two years before applying for admission to the United States. You must be entering the United States to work:

  • As a minister or priest of the religious denomination;
  • In a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupation for the religious organization (a professional capacity means that a U.S. baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalent is required to do this job); or
  • In a religious vocation or occupation for the religious organization or its nonprofit affiliate. (A religious vocation means a calling or devotion to religious life. Taking vows can prove that you have a calling to religious life. A religious occupation is an activity devoted to traditional religious functions. Examples of religious occupations include (but are not limited to) cantors, missionaries, and religious instructors.)

You Must Have been Performing this Religious Work for at Least, the Past Two Years.

  • Proof that the religious organization qualifies as a non-profit organization
  • A letter from an official of the religious organization in the United States:
    • The letter should establish that you have been a member of the denomination for two years, and that you have at least two years of experience in your religious vocation or occupation.
    • If you are a minister, the letter should establish that you have been authorized to perform religious duties in general and should specify which duties you are authorized to perform.
    • If you are a religious professional, the letter should establish that you have a United States baccalaureate degree or the foreign equivalent that is required for your religious profession. You must also submit an official academic record.
  • If you are applying to work in the United States in another religious vocation or occupation, the letter should establish that you are qualified to work in that religious vocation or occupation. For instance, if you are applying to work as a nun or a monk, you would need to provide evidence that you are a nun or a monk.
  • If you are applying to work in the United States in a non-ministerial or non-professional capacity for a religious organization affiliated with a religious denomination, the letter should establish how the religious organization is affiliated with the denomination.
  • The letter should also detail how you will be carrying on the work of a minister, or how you will be paid if you are working in a professional or other religious capacity. The letter should indicate that you will not be dependent upon supplementary income (from a second job) or charity (funds solicited for your support).

EB5 Green Card for Investors

The EB5 investor visa program enables foreigners who make an investment in a U.S. business to obtain a green card and become lawful permanent residents, and eventual citizens, of the United States. The investment can lead to a green card for the investor to permanently live and work in the United States with their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.


The EB5 investor visa program enables foreigners who make an investment in a U.S. business to obtain a green card and become lawful permanent residents, and eventual citizens, of the United States. The investment can lead to a green card for the investor to permanently live and work in the United States with their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.

Entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) who make an investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States and who plan to create or preserve ten permanent full time jobs for qualified United States workers, are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence).

Up to 10,000 EB5 investor visas may be authorized each fiscal year for eligible entrepreneurs.

You must invest $1,000,000, or at least $500,000 in a targeted employment area (high unemployment or rural area).  In return, USCIS may grant conditional permanent residence to the individual.

EB5 INVESTOR VISA ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

You may be eligible to receive permanent residence based on investment if:

  • You have an approved Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur
  • You are admissible to the United States
  • An immigrant visa is immediately available

EB5 INVESTOR VISA APPLICATION PROCESS

If You Are Living Outside the United States
You can become a permanent resident through consular processing if you live outside the United States. Consular processing is when USCIS works with the Department of State to issue a visa on an approved Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, petition when a visa is available.

If You Are Living in the United States
You can become a conditional permanent resident through adjustment of status if you live inside the United States. Once the Form I-526 is approved and a visa number is available, you can apply for conditional permanent residence on Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Supporting Evidence for Form I-485

You should submit the following evidence/documentation with your application:

  • Two passport-style photos
  • Form G-325A, Biographic Information, if you are between 14 and 79 years of age
  • Copy of government issued photo identification
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Copy of passport page with nonimmigrant visa (if applicable)
  • Copy of passport page with admission (entry) or parole stamp (if applicable)
  • Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record (if applicable)
  • Certified copies of court records (if you have been arrested)
  • Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
  • Applicable fees
  • The approval notice for Form I-526 (Form I-797)

FAMILY OF ENTREPRENEURS

Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21, (known as derivatives) may be included on your immigration petition.  If they are residing in the US, they will each need to file a Form I-485. They are counted towards the annual cap of 10,000.

WORK & TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION

Generally, when you have a pending Form I-485, it is possible for you to apply for authorization to work in the United States and to seek advance parole (advance permission to travel and be admitted to the United States upon your return). For further information, see the “Work Authorization” and “Travel Documents” links to the left under “Green Card Processes & Procedures.”


Helping You to Obtain the Right Visa When You Need It

When you contact our firm for an initial consultation, we will take the time to educate you and explain the immigration laws, regulations and the visa application procedures of the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, formerly known as the INS or Immigration and Naturalization Service).

As a client, you will work directly with an experienced attorney who will be able to answer any questions you have and keep you informed and aware of new developments as your case moves forward.


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