The “EB” immigration category leads to green cards for foreign citizens who can prove extraordinary or exceptional ability, talented professionals, skilled and unskilled workers, and those who want to invest in the United States.
Most of the EBs are designed to bring qualified workers to contribute in areas with a shortage of professionals. There are several EB categories, including EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4, and EB-5. Learn more about each type:
EB-1: Extraordinary Ability
Eligible applicants must demonstrate extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim and significant contributions in their fields of expertise. To qualify for the EB-1 process based on extraordinary ability, applicants must include evidence they received major internationally recognized awards (Pulitzer, Oscar, Olympic Medal, etc.) or meet at least 3 of 10 criteria established by the USCIS.
No offer of employment, labor certification, or investment is required to apply for the EB-1 based on extraordinary ability. However, those applying for this immigration category have to demonstrate that they will continue to work in their area of expertise in the United States once they receive their green card and become Legal Permanent Residents.
One of the most significant benefits of the EB-1 is the “Premium Processing,” an expedited program that allows the entire process to be evaluated and approved in 15 days, as long as the applicant pays an additional fee to the USCIS.
The EB-1 immigration category is also available for outstanding professors and researchers who intend to work in high-level positions at education or research institutions in the US and certain multinational managers or executives. The criteria and documents required in these cases will vary.
EB-2: Exceptional Ability or Advanced Degree – National Interest Waiver (NIW)
Applicants may be eligible for a green card thru the EB-2 immigration category if they can prove exceptional ability or have an advanced degree in sciences, arts, or business.
To show evidence of exceptional ability, EB-2 applicants must demonstrate a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the US. They have to meet at least 3 of 6 criteria established by the USCIS and the requirements specified on the labor certification (if applicable).
To qualify for the EB-2 based on an advanced degree, applicants have to present official academic records showing they have at least a US baccalaureate degree (or a foreign equivalent degree) plus at least five years of progressive post-baccalaureate work experience in the specialty, which must be attested with letters from current or former employers of the applicant.
Depending on the applicant’s qualification, the USCIS may consider a National Interest Waiver (NIW), meaning that a job offer and a labor certificate are not required. Most EB-2 NIW brings foreign professionals with high qualifications who will contribute in areas where there is a shortage of specialized workers in the country, such as Health care, Technology, Education, Engineering, Aviation, Sciences, etc.
EB-3: Skilled Workers
Most frequently, applicants can be eligible for a green card thru the EB-3 process if they prove to be skilled workers and perform specific professional activities for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.
To be considered a skilled worker, applicants must demonstrate they possess at least two years of job experience, relevant education (which may vary according to a job offer), or training that meets the job requirements specified on the labor certification.
This immigration category requires a labor certification and a permanent full-time job offer. The applicant’s employer must demonstrate a continuing ability to pay the offered wage as part of the application process.
EB-4: Special Immigrants
The fourth employment-based immigration category is developed to bring special immigrants to the United States. There are several types of foreign citizens who fit into this category. Still, in most cases, it applies to current or former US employees (including government staff, armed forces, diplomats, and foreign services collaborators).
Certain religious authorities, physicians, and broadcasters may also qualify. An EB-4 application usually requires a petition filed from an employer. However, there are certain situations where the applicant may self-petition on their behalf.
The EB-5 immigration category initially allows a temporary green card to foreign citizens who want to invest in the United States by starting or purchasing a business. After two years, the investor may request a permanent green card to demonstrate that the company is still active, profitable, and under the rules of the EB-5 program.
As of February 2022, the minimum investment expected to apply for the EB-5 program is $500,000 if the business is created at a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), regions in the US with higher unemployment rates and shortage investments. If the investor decides to start the business in a higher-developed region, such as big cities and large urban centers, the cost of investment rises to US$ 900,000. EB-5 applicants must prove that the funds of the investment come from legitimate sources and that the new business will directly result in the creation and preservation of at least ten full-time jobs in the United States.
Regardless of the Employment-Based category that best fits you, it is essential to rely on the legal services of specialized lawyers who can assist in every step of your green card application process. Gondim Law Corp has a team of attorneys with proven experience and a track record of success in all types of immigration proceedings to the United States.
Schedule a consultation with one of the licensed attorneys at Gondim Law Corp. We want to light the path toward your future in the United States.