Every fiscal year (October 1st – September 30th), approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are made available to qualified applicants under the provisions of U.S. immigration law. Employment based immigrant visas are divided into five preference categories. Certain spouses and children may accompany or follow-to-join employment-based immigrants.
In general, a specific offer of employment from a U.S. based employer is required to qualify for immigration in the employment based preference categories.
- Priority Workers (E1)
Persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, arts, business or athletics: outstanding professors and researchers & certain multinational executives & managers.
- Persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts and business and professionals (E2)
A member of the professions holding an advanced degree or equivalent, or baccalaureate degree plus at least 5 years of progressive experience in the specialty, and persons of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts and business.
A person who holds a baccalaureate degree and who is a member of the professions.
- Skilled and Unskilled Workers (E3)
Skilled workers with at least two years training or experience and unskilled workers whose skills are in short supply in the U.S. Note: The Embassy does not keep a list of these professions.
- Special immigrants (SR, SD, SB)
Certain religious workers and ministers of religion, certain international organization employees and their immediate family member, qualified and recommended current and former employees of the U.S. government and returning residents.
- Investors (T)
Persons who will create employment for at least ten unrelated persons by investing a minimum of $1,000,000 in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. or at least $500,000 where the investment is being made in a “targeted employment area”.