Each year, many people apply for employment-based immigrant visas. These visas are divided into several preference categories.
The first preference is for priority workers and persons of extraordinary ability. Applicants in the persons with extraordinary ability category are not required to have a specific job offer in place, as long as they are entering the U.S. to work in their field.
These fields include the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. They must show extensive documentation of national or international recognition in their field. This first category also includes preference for outstanding professors and researchers with at least three years of experience who are coming to the U.S. for tenure, tenure track teaching or a research position in higher education.
Finally, it also includes multinational managers or executives who have been employed in that capacity for at least one of the last three years by an overseas branch of a U.S. employer.
Second and third preference
The second preference is for professionals holding an advanced degree and persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business. The third preference is for skilled workers whose jobs require a minimum of two years of training or work experience, professionals whose jobs require at least a college degree and unskilled workers who can fill other positions that require less than two years of training or experience.
Fourth and fifth preference
The fourth preference is for certain special immigrants which may include broadcasters, ministers of religion, employees of the U.S. government abroad and several others. The fifth preference is for immigrant investors who are making capital investments in U.S. commercial enterprises that create jobs.
The employment visa process can be complex. An experienced attorney can provide advice and additional information about the requirements.