There are a few categories of employment based immigration in the US immigration law. Here we only discuss the two categories that the beneficiary actually has an employer: the second and third employment based preferences. These two categories are the main routes for green card applicants to obtain US green cards through employment.
The second employment based preference provides about 40,000 annual immigrant visas plus those visas not used in the first preference. There are two types of qualifications in the second employment based preference. The first one is for aliens with “exceptional ability” in sciences, arts or business. The second one is for those aliens who are professionals with advanced degrees (master’s degree and above).
The third employment based preference also provides about 40,000 annual immigrant visas plus those visas not used in the first and second preferences. There are three types of qualifications in the third employment based preference. The first one is for aliens with bachelor’s degrees. The second one is for those aliens who do not have a bachelor’s degree but who are skill workers. Skill workers refer to the job positions they have require at least two years of training and experience. The third type is for unskilled workers.
Highlights of Employment Based Immigration
Both the second and the third preferences require a labor certification from the US Department of Labor and a job offer from an employer, except that in the second preference, those may be waived by the USCIS because of national interest waiver. For information of labor certification, please click here.
The job offered to the green card applicant must be a full-time, permanent job.
The employer must prove its ability to pay the green card applicant’s salary
In an employment based immigration petition, the employer is the petitioner, and the employee is the beneficiary. If the immigration petition is approved, the employee is entitled to have a green card. However, he or she is not yet to have a green card until there is available visa in his or her petitioning category. When there is available visa, the employee will do one of the following two things to apply for the actual green card status (“permanent residence”) depending on whether the employee is in the United States or not. If the employee is in the United States at the time with a lawful status, the employee can apply for adjustment of status in the United States. If the employee is not in the United States or the employee does not hold a lawful status at the time, the employee will apply for consular processing in a U.S. Consulate Office.
Given the big visa retrogression of third preference, the differences between the second and the third preferences becomes more and more significant. It is very important to watch the State Department’s Visa Bulletin progresses to have strategic planning of the applications.
If you wish to apply for your green card through employment, please contact our office for a free evaluation of your case.