Employment-Based Immigrant Visas


Under United States law, many employers may petition for foreign national employees (or perspective employees) to obtain lawful permanent resident status. In addition, some foreign nationals may self-petition for lawful permanent resident status.

Employment-Based Immigrant Visas Categories

There are a number of employment-based green card options which may be pursued depending on a foreign national’s skills, educational background, and experience.

EB-1: Priority Workers

  • EB-1A (Foreign Nationals of Extraordinary Ability in the Sciences, Arts, Educations, Business, or Athletics) – This category is available to individuals who are able to show “sustained national or international acclaim” in their field. Foreign nationals do not need an employer in order to obtain a green card through this category.
  • EB-1B (Outstanding Researcher or Professor) – This category is available to individuals with at least three years of teaching or research experience who are seeking to enter the United States to pursue a tenure track position (or a comparable research position) at a university. In order to qualify for a visa, individuals must also be able to provide proof of international recognition in their field.
  • EB-1C (Multinational Manager or Executive) – This category is available to individuals coming to the United States to work for a United States company in a managerial or executive capacity. To be eligible for an EB-1C visa, the foreign national must have worked as an executive or manager for a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, of the United States company for at least one of the proceeding three years before coming to the United States.

EB-2: Professionals with Advanced Degrees or Persons with Exceptional Ability

  • Exceptional Ability in the Arts, Sciences or Business – This category is available to individuals with “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered” in the arts, sciences, or business. Foreign Labor Certification is required for this category.
  • Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees – This category is available to individuals with a master’s degree or above. Foreign nationals who possess a bachelor’s degree plus five years of progressive work experience may also qualify. Foreign Labor Certification is required for this category.
  • National Interest Waiver (“NIW”) – This category allows foreign nationals of exceptional ability, or professionals with an advanced degree, to apply for a green card without the need for Foreign Labor Certification. In order to qualify, a foreign national must demonstrate: (1) they plan on working in the United States in an area of substantial intrinsic merit; (2) the proposed impact of their work is national in scope; and (3) the waiving of the labor certification requirement would benefit the national interests of the United States. Foreign nationals may self-petition for a green card through the NIW process.

EB-3: Skilled, Professional, and Unskilled Workers

  • Skilled Workers – This category applies to jobs that do not require a college degree, but require at least two years of experience or training. Individuals seeking a visa under this category must show that they have at least two years of training or experience. Foreign Labor Certification is required for this category.
  • Professional Workers – This category applies to foreign nationals who can demonstrate: (1) They possess a United States bachelor’s degree or a foreign degree equivalent; and (2) they will be employed in a job that requires a bachelor’s degree. Foreign Labor Certification is required for this category.
  • Unskilled Workers – This category applies to positions that require less than two years of experience or training. Examples of positions that fall into this category include: (1) nannies; (2) farm workers; and (3) janitors. Foreign Labor Certification is required for this category.

EB-4: Special Immigrants

This visa category encompasses a wide range of immigrants including (but not limited to): (1) religious workers; (2) broadcasters; (3) Afghan and Iraqi translators; and (4) Special Immigrant Juveniles.

EB-5: Immigrant Investors

This visa category allows certain foreign entrepreneurs to obtain a green card by investing in a United States based commercial enterprise. In order to qualify for an EB-5 visa, a foreign national must invest $1,000,000.00 in a commercial enterprise (or $500,000.00 in a rural area of the United States or an area of the country with a high unemployment rate). In addition, the commercial enterprise must create at least ten full-time jobs.

Contact an Experienced Pittsburgh based immigration attorney today.

Obtaining an employment-based green card is a complicated and time consuming process. Mistakes during the petition process, or picking the wrong visa category, can have severe negative consequences for a foreign national’s attempt at obtaining a green card. Therefore, it is essential to work with an experienced immigration lawyer who understands the nuances and complexities of employment-based visa petitions.

If you or someone you know is interested in an employment-based green card, Hartzman Law Firm is here to help. Our principal attorney, Daniel Hartzman, is an experienced business immigration attorney. Throughout his career, Daniel has helped numerous companies ranging from small start-up businesses, to Fortune 500 companies, obtain green cards for their workers. Daniel has also successfully helped many foreign nationals self-petition for employment-based green cards through the EB-1A and NIW visa categories.

If you are interested in learning more about how Hartzman Law Firm can help you, please contact us at (412) 495-9849 or fill out a contact form online. We offer free consultations in person, by phone, and by secure video conferencing. Weekend consultations are also available by request.

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