- EB1(1) Category – Alien of Extraordinary Ability: Extraordinary ability means a level of expertise indicating the applicant has is one of that small percentage who has risen to the very top of his or her field of endeavor, and that he or she will be coming to the United States to continue work in the area of expertise. The petition must also be accompanied by evidence that the applicant has sustained national or international acclaim and that his or her achievements have been recognized in the field of the applicant’s expertise. A major advantage of this category is that an employer or sponsor is not required to file the petition. In other words, the applicant may file a petition on his or her own behalf.
- EB1(2) Category – Outstanding Professors and Researchers: This category is for outstanding professors and researchers who can establish a high level/degree of achievement in their respective fields. The individual must establish that he or she 1) is “recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area,” 2) has at least 3 years of teaching or research experience in his or her field of endeavor, and 3) intends to teach or carry out research in that particular field in the United States. The individual must have an offer of employment in his or her field, and the employment must be from an accredited university and for a tenure-track position, or a permanent research position with an employer who has at least three full-time researchers and has documented accomplishments in that field.
- EB1(3) Category – Multinational Executives or Managers: This category applies to an individual who has been admitted to the United States to work in, and who is currently working in, a managerial or executive position with the same international corporation or organization with which he or she was continuously employed as a manager or executive outside the United States for at least one out of the three years before being admitted to the United States. ThIS category also applies to an individual who is coming to the United States to work in a managerial or executive position with the same international corporation or organization with which he or she has been continuously employed as a manager or executive outside the United States for at least one of the immediately preceding three years.
- EB2 Category – Members of the Professions Holdings Advanced Degrees; Aliens of Exceptional Ability; National Interest Waivers.
1. Members of the Professions Holdings Advanced Degrees: Advanced degree means any United States academic or professional degree or a foreign equivalent degree above that of baccalaureate. The United States baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree followed by at least five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in a specialty occupation is considered the equivalent of a Master’s degree. This category requires a job offer in the profession and the sponsoring employer must obtain a labor certification (PERM) approval from the U.S. Department of Labor. In addition, the labor certification must indicate that the position offered is one that requires the advanced degree to perform the job.
2. Aliens of Exceptional Ability: To show that an individual is an alien of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, the petition must be accompanied by at least three of the following:
- An official academic record showing that the individual has a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability;
- Evidence in the form of letter(s) from current or former employer(s) showing that the individual has at least ten years of full-time experience in the occupation for which he or she is being sought;
- A license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation;
- Evidence that the individual has commanded a salary, or other remuneration for services, which demonstrates exceptional ability;
- Evidence of membership in professional associations; or
- Evidence of recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities, or professional or business organizations.
- If the above standards do not readily apply to the individual’s occupation, comparable evidence may be submitted to establish eligibility.
This category requires a job offer in the area of exceptional ability and the sponsoring employer must obtain a labor certification (PERM) approval from the U.S. Department of Labor.
3. National Interest Waivers: To establish that work in is “in the national interest” of the United States, the applicant must establish that 1) he or she seeks employment in an area of substantial intrinsic merit, 2) the proposed benefit will be national in scope, and 3) the national interest would be adversely affected if a labor certification were required for the individual. (An individual seeking an exemption from the PERM labor certification process must present a national benefit so great as to outweigh the national interest inherent in the labor certification process.) As the term national interest has not been defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act, many factors are considered in determining national interest, including improvement of: the U.S. economy, wages and working conditions for U.S. workers, education, healthcare, the environment and housing. In addition, the USCIS will give considerable weight to a request by an interested government agency.
- EB3 Category – Professionals, Skilled Workers and Other Workers: This category requires a job offer from a U.S. employer and a labor certification (PERM) approval from the U.S. Department of Labor. The sponsored position must be in an occupation in which the individual has received training, education, and/or work experience, or in a closely related field or occupation. The labor certification must specify the minimum education, training and/or experience requirements for the position, and that the individual must possess the stated requirements.
1. Professionals: The sponsored position requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate degree (or its foreign educational equivalent).
2. Skilled Workers: The sponsored position requires at least two years of training or experience.
3. Other Workers: The sponsored position requires less than two years training or experience.
- EB4 Category – Religious Workers: The individual must establish that for at least the two years immediately preceding the filing of the petition, he or she has been a member of a religious denomination that has a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States, and that the individual is seeking to enter the United States to work in a full time, compensated position 1) solely as a minister or priest of the religious denomination, 2) in a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupation for the religious organization (a professional capacity means that a U.S. baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalent is required to do this job), or 3) in a religious vocation or occupation for the religious organization or its nonprofit affiliate. The individual must also establish that he or she has been working in one of the positions described above continuously for at least 2 years immediately before the filing of a petition with USCIS.
- EB5 Category – Employment Creation Aliens: This category applies to individuals who have invested, or are actively in the process of investing, $1 million in lawfully obtained capital (or $500,000 in a “Targeted Employment Area” (i.e., high unemployment or rural area)), thereby creating at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers, excluding the investor and his or her immediate family. Investments may also be made directly in a job-generating commercial enterprise (new, or existing – “Troubled Business”), or into a “Regional Center”, which is a third party-managed investment vehicle (private or public) that assumes the responsibility of creating the requisite number of jobs.