Hackensack, New Jersey, Immigration Attorney guiding you through the Employment-based Visa Process and Paving The Pathway To Your American Dream

Employment-based visas (EB) are available to qualified applicants to allow individuals to work and live in the U.S. There are a limited number of employment visas available each year. Visas are made available based on preference categories.

Before an immigrant can be issued most employment-based visas, the prospective employer must obtain labor certification approval from the Department of Labor (DOL). The employer then files a Petition for Alien Worker with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Employment-based visas are divided into a number of categories, depending on the type of employment and experience. Employment-based visa categories include:

  • H-1B: Foreign professionals in specialty occupations (temporary)
  • H-2A: Agricultural workers from certain countries (temporary)
  • H-2B: Seasonal non-agricultural workers (temporary)
  • L-1A/L-1B: Workers (Management/Executives/Professionals) of foreign companies operating in the U.S. (temporary)
  • EB-1: Priority workers
  • EB-2: Professionals with advanced degrees and persons of exceptional ability
  • EB-3: Skilled workers, professionals, and other unskilled workers
  • EB-4: Certain special immigrants
  • EB-5: Immigrant investors

Which EB Visas are Meant for Permanent Workers?

Employment-based visas for permanent workers are categorized by preference, from First Preference (EB-1) visa to Fifth Preference (EB-5) visa. Each category is allocated a certain percentage of the yearly worldwide limit of employment-based immigrant visas:

  • EB-1 priority workers receive 28.6% of the yearly limit of employment-based visas.
  • EB-2 workers receive 28.6% of the yearly limit of employment-based immigrant visas, plus any unused visas from the EB-1 allocation.
  • EB-3 workers receive 28.6% of the employment immigrant visas, plus the unused EB-1 and EB-2 allocation.
  • EB-4 special immigrants receive 7.1% of the yearly employment-based visas.
  • EB-5 includes 10,000 visas allocated each Fiscal Year for immigrant investors. Generally, no more than 7.1% of EB-5 investor visas can go to each country.
  • The employment-based visa (EB) category is divided into five preference categories, each with its own eligibility requirements and numerical limitations:

EB-1 First Preference

First Preference EB-1 is for workers with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors or researchers, or multinational executives. This requires meeting specific criteria to demonstrate the individual has an extraordinary ability or is an outstanding researcher. Outstanding professors or researchers and multinational managers must have their employer file the petition with the USCIS. Individuals with extraordinary abilities may petition for themselves.

EB-2 Second Preference

Second Preference EB-2 is for workers who are members of advanced degree professions or for persons with exceptional abilities in the arts, sciences, or business. This requires documentation of the individual’s academic record or meeting specific criteria that demonstrate exceptional ability.

EB-3 Third Preference

Third Preference EB-3 is for professionals, skilled workers, and other workers. Individuals need to demonstrate required job experience or training and must provide a labor certification and full-time job offer. The employer must file the petition on behalf of the worker and demonstrate an ability to pay the offered wage.

EB-4 Fourth Preference

The Fourth Preference EB-4 is for certain types of jobs. This category requires the employer to file the petition on behalf of the worker. However, in some cases, the worker may self-petition for the visa. Fourth preference worker visa categories include:

  • Religious workers
  • Special immigrant juveniles
  • Broadcasters
  • International employees of the U.S. government abroad
  • Armed forces members
  • Certain physicians
  • Afghan and Iraqi Translators

EB-5 Fifth Preference

Fifth Preference EB-5 visas are for certain foreign business investors. To qualify, a business investor must invest $1,050,000 in a direct investment in a new commercial enterprise that employs at least ten full-time United States workers; or $800,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) if the EB-5 visa petition is on or after 3/15/2022. The TEA is defined as a rural area or an area experiencing high unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate.

Entrepreneurs must submit evidence and documentation that they are in the process of investing in a new commercial enterprise and have sustained the investment throughout the 2-year conditional permanent residence period. Investors must also submit evidence that they created or will create 10-full-time jobs for qualifying employees. More information regarding how our firm can assist with EB-5 visas may be found on its own page.

What Visas are Available for Temporary Workers?

Temporary employment-based visas allow individuals to be able to work in the United States for a limited time and in limited job fields. This includes employers bringing overseas employees to work in the United States (L-1A & L-1B), and professionals in “specialty occupations,” who may be in short supply in the United States (H-1B).

L-1A & L-1B Visas

Many international companies have operations in the United States and other countries. An employer may want to bring a foreign worker to the United States to work temporarily on setting up a new facility or managing a new office. The L-1A and L-1B visas provide for work authorization for a period of up to 3 years, which can be further extended. There is no set limit for the number of these visas allowed annually. Spouses and children of approved workers may also be able to enter and work in the United States.

H-1B Visas

H-1B visas are allocated for individuals in “specialty occupations” and generally require a bachelor’s degree or equivalent level of education or training. The employer has to attest that hiring a foreign H-1B worker will not adversely affect the working conditions of similarly employed workers. The visa is good for an initial period of up to 3 years but may be extended. The number of H-1B visas are more restricted, with only 65,000 issued per year. The first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a master’s degree or higher are exempt from the cap. Additionally, spouses and children of approved workers may be able to enter the United States.

Will My Employment-based Visa Include My Loved Ones?

Generally, the spouse and minor unmarried children under the age of 21 may apply for immigrant visas with the qualifying immigrant worker. Family members will still have to complete the required application forms, undergo medical exams, and pay the required fees. In some cases, your family may also be eligible for employment in the United States.

Can This Office Help me With an Employment-based Visa?

If you have any questions about employment-based visas for temporary or permanent workers, contact the Law Office of Nita Kundanmal today by calling (201) 883-9800. The Law Office of Nita Kundanmal handles all aspects of family and employment immigration law in New Jersey, New York, and throughout the United States.