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Insight into Employment-Based Immigrant Visas


For many individuals, one of the largest reasons for coming to the United States is our growing workforce and enormous job opportunities. In fact, approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are made available every single year for just that reason.

These visas are split into five categories based on preference:

  • E1 – Priority Workers
  • E2 – Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees & Persons of Exceptional Ability
  • E3 – Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers
  • E4 – Certain Special Immigrants
  • E5 – Immigrant Investors

What is a priority worker?

There are three groups of individuals who fall into the E1 category:

  • Persons with Extraordinary Ability: This includes individuals who focus in the sciences, arts, education, businesses, or athletics. To qualify, an individual must have extensive documentation that shows acclaim and recognition on a national or intentional level. They need not have a specific job offer.
  • Outstanding Professors & Researchers: These individuals must have a minimum of 3 years of experience in teaching or research and be recognized on an international level. To qualify, they must be coming to the U.S. for tenure, tenure track teaching, or a comparable research position.
  • Multinational Managers or Executives: Individuals must have been in employment of a U.S. employer for one of the preceding three years by an overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch. Their employment must have been in either a managerial or executive capacity.

Taking the First Step

If interested in obtaining an employment-based immigrant visa, the first step is to have your prospective employer or agent obtain a labor certification approval. Once that has been received, your employer may then need to file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Some individuals (ex: persons with extraordinary abilities) may be able to file this on their own behalf.

Want to know more? Contact our immigration lawyers today to schedule your free case evaluation!