Preference categories for work-based visas

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2022 | Visas

The U.S. government makes approximately 140,000 visas available each year to noncitizens and their families who want to immigrate to the United States for work. These visas allow the noncitizen to permanently live in the United States. There are five work-based visa categories. The noncitizen must fall under one of them to be granted a work-based visa.

Category 1: First Preference EB-1

This category includes workers who have extraordinary abilities in various fields such as science, business or athletics. Outstanding professors and multinational executives also fall under this category.

Category 2: Second Preference EB-2

This category includes workers who have advanced degrees. It also includes workers who have exceptional abilities in the areas of the arts, sciences or business.

Category 3: Third Preference EB-3

This preference includes skilled workers, professionals and other workers. A skilled worker is someone whose occupation requires at least two years of training or experience and is not a temporary or seasonal job. Professionals are those who have a U.S. baccalaureate degree or the equivalent from another country. “Other workers” are those whose job involves unskilled labor and needs less than two years of training, education or experience and the job is not a temporary or seasonal job.

Category 4: Fourth Preference EB-4

This preference includes “special immigrants,” such as certain religious employees those who work at U.S. foreign service posts, retired workers of international businesses, noncitizen minors who are wards of the United States and other types of noncitizens.

Category 5: Fifth Preference EB-5

This preference is reserved for certain investors who invest a certain amount of money in new businesses in the United States. that have a minimum of 10 full time U.S. employees.

If you plan to immigrate to the United States for work, it is important to understand what permanent worker category you fall under. Category 1 preferences are given a higher priority over Category 2 preferences, etc. With the right visa you can permanently live and work in the United States.