Employment Based Visas
EB-1 Foreign Nationals of Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professors and Researchers and Multinational Executives and Managers
Individuals in this category can petition for permanent residency without having to go through the time consuming labor certification process.
EB-2 Workers with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability in the Sciences, Arts or Business
Visa holders in this category normally must have a job offer and the potential employer must complete the labor certification process. The labor certification involves a testing of the job market to demonstrate that the potential visa holder is not taking a job away from a U.S. worker. In cases where an individual can show that his entry is in the national interest, the job offer and labor certification requirements can be waived.
EB-3 Skilled Workers and Professionals
Visa holders in this category normally must have a job offer and the potential employer must complete the labor certification process.
EB-4 Special Immigrant Visas for Religious Workers
Visa holders in this category must be Ministers of religion to be eligible for permanent residency.
H-1B Specialty Occupation (Professionals) Visas
Visa holders in this category normally must be professional workers with at least a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent in work experience) to be eligible for a non-immigrant visa if their employer can demonstrate that they are to be paid at least the prevailing wage for the position.
J-1 Exchange Visitor Visas
Persons coming to the U.S. in an approved exchange program may be eligible for the J-1 Exchange Visitor’s visa. J-1 programs often cover students, short-term scholars, business trainees, teachers, professors and research scholars, specialists, international visitors, government visitors, camp counselors and au pairs. In some cases, participation in a J-1 program will be coupled with the requirement that the beneficiary spend at least two years outside of the U.S. before being permitted to switch to a different non-immigrant visa or to apply for permanent residency.
L-1 Intra-company Transfer Visas
L-1 visas are available to executives, managers and employees with special knowledge who are transferring to their employer’s U.S. affiliate. Executives and managers holding L-1 visas may be eligible for permanent residency without the need for a labor certification.
O-1 Extraordinary Ability Worker Visas
The O-1 category is set aside for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability. This includes entertainers, athletes, scientists, and businesspersons.
TN Status Under the North American Free Trade Agreement
A special category has been set up for nationals of Canada and Mexico under the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
EB-5 Investor/Employment Creation Visas
Under the 1990 Immigration Act, Congress set aside up to 10,000 visas per year for alien investors in new commercial enterprises who create employment for ten individuals. There are two groups of investors under the program – those who invest at least $500,000 in “targeted employment areas” (rural areas or areas experiencing high unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate) and those who invest $1,000,000 anywhere else. No fewer than 3,000 of the annual allotment of visas must go to targeted employment areas.
E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader and Investor Visas
Investors and traders and their employees may receive visas to carry on their businesses in the U.S. if their home country has a commercial treaty with the U.S. conferring visa eligibility.