Employment-based immigrant visas are divided among five preference categories.
- EB-1: “Priority Workers”: An individual is eligible for an employment-based, first-preference visa if they have an extraordinary ability, are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager. Each occupational category has certain requirements that must be met.
- EB-2: An individual may be eligible for an employment-based, second preference visa if they are a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or a foreign national who has exceptional ability. Individuals in this category can also seek a National Interest Waiver, waiving the Labor Certification requirement because it is in the interest of the U.S.
- EB-3: An individual may be eligible for this immigrant visa preference category if they are a skilled worker, professional, or other worker:
- “Skilled workers” are persons whose job requires a minimum of two years training or work experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature
- “Professionals” are persons whose job requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent and are a member of the professions
- The “other workers” subcategory is for persons performing unskilled labor requiring less than two years training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature.
- EB-4: “Special Immigrant” The following special immigrants are eligible for the fourth preference visa:
- Religious Workers
- Iraqi/Afghan Translators
- Iraqis Who Have Assisted the United States
- International Organization Employees
- Armed Forces Members
- Panama Canal Zone Employees
- Retired NATO-6 employees
- Spouses and Children of Deceased NATO-6 employees
- EB-5:”Immigrant Investor” The EB-5 visa allows foreign nationals to invest in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. in an effort to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment. 10,000 visas are available annually to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status through this category, 5,000 of which are set aside for those applying under a pilot program involving an USCIS-designated Regional Center.