Want to work in US? All you need to know about employment-based immigrant visas

US provides approximately 140,000 employment based immigrant visas every year to qualified applicants under the US immigration law. 

These immigrant visas are provided from 1 October-30 September every year. The employment based immigrant visas are divided into five preference categories- E-1, E-2, E-3, E-4, E-5. 

Certain spouses and children may accompany or follow-to-join employment-based immigrants, as per Travel.State.Gov website.

In order to be considered for an immigrant visa, the applicant’s prospective employer or agent must first obtain a labor certification approval from the Department of Labor. 

Once this is received, the employer need to then file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the appropriate employment-based preference category, the website states.

The documents required for employment based immigrant visas are passports valid for six months beyond the intended date of entry into the US, two 2×2 photographs, civil documents for the applicant, financial support and completed medical examination forms.

Detail of the five employment based immigrant visas in the US: 

1. Employment First Preference (E1): 

The E1 visa is for priority worker and persons of extraordinary ability. People with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics are considered in E1 visa category. Professors and researchers who are outstanding are considered here. They need to posses at least 3 years experience in teaching or research, who are recognized internationally. Apart from this, multinational managers or executives who have been employed for at least one of the three preceding years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the US employer falls into E1 visa category.

2. Employment Second Preference (E2):

A second preference applicant must generally have a labor certification approved by the Department of Labor. Professional holding an an advanced degree or with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business are considered under E1 visa category.

3. Employment Third Preference (E3):

E3 applicant must have an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien worker, Form I-140, filed by the prospective employer. People who are skilled workers, professionals, and other workers are considered in this category.

4. Employment Fourth Preference (E4):

The fourth preference applicant must be the beneficiary of an approved Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, Form I-360.

Special immigrants includes broadcasters in the US, certain religious workers, certain employees or former employees of the US government abroad, Certain Former Employees related to Panama Canal Company or Panama Canal Zone, Iraqi and Afghan interpreters/translators, Foreign medical graduates, retired or unmarried children or surviving spouses of International Organization Employees, Immigrant Juveniles, retired or unmarried children or surviving spouses of NATO-6 civilians and persons who are beneficiaries.

employees of US foreign service posts, retired employees of international organisations, noncitizen minors who are wards of courts in the United States, and other classes of noncitizens. Possibility of spouse and children to be admitted to the US is very less under this case.

5. Employment Fifth Preference (E5):

The fifth preference applicant are immigrant investor. In this, visa categories are for capital investment by foreign investors in new commercial enterprises in the United States which provide job creation. 


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