Moving to the United States, getting a job, is actually easier than it seems at first glance: 140,000 visas are available for foreigners annually. It is only necessary that you have the appropriate education, possess the necessary skills and be able to put them into practice without difficulty — and, of course, all this must be documented.

How many categories of work visas, which one to choose and what to pay special attention to — we will tell you more

Categories of Permanent Worker Visas

  • ЕВ-1
    EB-1 Visa for people with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business and sports. Suitable for eminent professors, researchers, international executives and managers.
    Labor certification is not required.
  • ЕВ-2
    Visa for professionals with an advanced level of education, as well as for holders of outstanding abilities in science, art and business.
    A labor certification is required unless you plan to receive a National Interest Waiver.
  • ЕВ-3
    Visa for professionals, skilled and other workers. Labor certification required.
  • ЕВ-4
    Visa for special immigrants: religious workers, employees of foreign missions in the United States, employees of international organizations in retirement. Labor certification is not required.
  • ЕВ-5
    Visa for investors who have invested $1.8 million or $900,000 in a new business and employed at least 10 Americans full-time. Labor certification is not required.

Labor certification: what is it and why is it needed.

Some work visas can only be obtained if you have an invitation from the employer — in this case, he is recognized as a sponsor. However, that’s not all: if a labor certification is required, the employer must obtain it before filing a petition so that you can move to the US.

It is issued by the Department of Labor and certifies that:

  • there are currently no free workers in America who could take this position, meet the requirements and would like to work for the current salary;
  • If an employer hires you, it will not affect the wages and working conditions of Americans in the same position.

Work visa EB-1

If you have extraordinary abilities in your field or are in the sciences and are known as an outstanding professor, this category is the way to go. However, it is worth remembering that in this case it is divided into several subcategories, and each has its own requirements.

What criteria are distinguished for subcategories:

  • Possessors of extraordinary abilities It is necessary to confirm unique abilities in science, art, education, business or sports through achievements at the international or local level.
    Required evidence:
    Confirmation of at least 3 of the criteria listed below. When receiving an award, you need to report its achievement at a time and confirm that you really intend to work in your field as an expert. An offer of employment from the employer is not required.
  • Prominent professors and researchers You need international recognition in your academic field. Mandatory — at least 3 years of work in the specialty or research in the desired area. You must enter the United States for the purpose of teaching or teaching indefinitely, or for a qualifying research position at a university, college, or private employer.
    Required evidence:
    Confirmation of at least 2 of the criteria below. You also need to provide a job offer from a future employer. Private Employer must provide proof of achievement as well as proof that they have already hired at least 3 full-time researchers Labor certification not required.
  • International managers and executives Must have been employed for a minimum of 1 year 3 years before the petition was filed or last entered the US if you are already working for the petitioner. The employer must have been in business for at least 1 year and have a verified relationship with the foreign employer you worked for. You must be in a leadership or manager position.
    Required evidence:
    Confirmation from a U.S. employer that they are willing to hire you as a supervisor or manager. Evidence that he has been doing business in the United States for at least 1 year and is collaborating with an organization in which you worked outside of America. Labor certification is not required.

What confirms the title of professor or distinguished researcher

  • Awards for excellence in your field.
  • Membership in organizations that are not accepted without relevant achievements.
  • Publication of materials written by others about your academic activities.
  • Participation as a judge — both in a group and individually — in the evaluation of works related to your scientific field.
  • Contribution to scientific or research achievements in your field.
  • Authorship of academic books or articles in international journals.

How to apply for EB-1

If you have extraordinary abilities, then you can safely file a petition yourself — and, if necessary, use the help of a lawyer.

If you are a professor or researcher, the petition must be filed by the employer, either by yourself or with a lawyer. He also needs to confirm that he can pay you a salary on time.

In the event that you are a manager or leader, the petition is also filed by the employer — with or without a lawyer. He is also required to confirm the possibility of paying money within a certain period of time.

Work visa EB-2

You may not be the winner of a world-class award, but you certainly have outstanding abilities in business, science or art? Then this visa is definitely for you. It is also designed for those professions that require an advanced level of education.

Like its predecessor, this category is divided into several subcategories, and each has its own requirements.

  • Advanced Diploma If the position requires an advanced degree, you must have one, either a U.S. degree or a foreign equivalent. It also takes into account 5 years of work in the desired field and requirements related to labor certification.
    Required evidence:
    Documents confirming the availability of education of the appropriate level — as a rule, a diploma. If we are talking about the foreign equivalent of a diploma, to which 5 years of work in the specialty are added, confirmation from the employer is required.
  • Outstanding ability in science, art Outstanding ability here refers to a special degree of expertise that exceeds the usual level. You also need to meet all labor certification requirements.
    Required evidence:
    You must meet at least 3 criteria from the list below. Labor certification required.
  • NIW: National Interest Waiver In this category, you can apply for an exemption from labor certification if you prove that your move is in the interests of the United States. An employer is also not required, you can file a petition directly.
    Required evidence:
    An advanced degree or evidence of extraordinary ability is required and the applicant must meet at least 3 criteria from the list below.

What confirms the outstanding abilities

  • Possession of a diploma, certificate, or any similar document such as an award in the field of excellence
  • Documents confirming at least 10 years of work in your field.
  • A license or certificate showing that you have the right to practice.
  • Appropriate salary or other benefits.
  • Membership in professional associations.
  • Recognition of your achievements by colleagues, government agencies, business organizations
  • Other equivalent evidence.

What NIW Confirms

  • Your activity has value and national importance.
  • You can develop it and take it to the next level.
  • Any evidence that it is in the US interest to exempt you from labor certification and offer you a job.

How to apply for EB-2

If you are not seeking NIW, the petition must be accompanied by Form ETA 9089, a labor certification from the Employment Department. In this case, the employer must file Form I-140 and prove that it is able to pay you wages at the time of the priority date.

If your activities are in the interests of the United States, you can file Form I-140 yourself.

If the petition is approved, the spouse and children of the applicant under the age of 21 can receive an E-21 and E-22 immigrant visa to also enter America

Work visa EB-3

This visa is suitable for those who define themselves as a skilled worker, professional or ordinary worker. The requirements for obtaining it are somewhat lower than in the previous cases — but they also depend on the subcategory you choose.

A skilled worker is a person who is engaged in a non-temporary or seasonal activity and has at least 2 years of training or work experience behind him.

A professional is someone whose work requires a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, as well as the confirmed fact that you are a member of a particular profession.

Other workers in this case are people who are also engaged in non-temporary or seasonal activities, but their work is unskilled and requires less than 2 years of training or experience.

  • Skilled worker At least 2 years of work experience, training or education. It is also assumed that the person is doing a job for which there are no suitable people in the US. Post-secondary education can be seen as preparation.
    Required evidence:
    Proof of work for 2 years, finished projects, diploma of relevant education. A permanent job offer and labor certification are also required.
  • Professional Such a visa can be obtained by a person with a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. Education and experience do not replace a diploma. In addition, you need to do work for which there are no suitable people in the United States.
    Required evidence:
    A bachelor’s degree, confirmation that this is the optimal requirement for employment in a particular specialty. Labor certification required.
  • Unskilled (other) worker Your option if you can demonstrate that you are capable of doing a non-temporary, non-seasonal job that requires less than 2 years of training.
    Required evidence:
    Examples of your work or documentary evidence, as well as labor certification.

Work visa EB-4

This visa is only suitable for specific immigrants who fit into one of the many sub-categories. If you are not sure if you are one of them, it is best to contact an immigration lawyer and clarify it — this way you will avoid wasting time writing an inappropriate case.

Special immigrants include the following:

  • religious figures;
  • some minor immigrants;
  • journalists;
  • employees of the international organization G-4, NATO, as well as members of their families;
  • the military, who are registered in the armed forces;
  • Panama Canal Zone workers;
  • Afghan and Iraqi translators;
  • citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq who supported US military operations.

КHow to apply for EB-4

In this case, it is necessary that the employer file Form I-360. However, in some situations, an immigrant can file a petition himself — in order to find out if yours is one of those, we advise you to consult an immigration lawyer.

In addition, some of the EB-4 subcategories allow the applicant’s spouse, as well as children under 21 years of age, to be transported to the United States.

Work visa EB-5

This program is for you if you want to invest in an American business and grow it, becoming the owner of your own business in the United States. It is regularly subject to changes, so if you choose this way of moving to America, you cannot do without the help of a qualified specialist.

Investing in a business is the right way to a green card. You can get it if:

  • • invested the required amount — 1.8 million or 900 thousand dollars in the business;
  • • Going to create or retain 10 full-time skilled jobs in the US.

Please be aware that the amount of the minimum investment may change from time to time as inflation cannot be discounted. But an investor can easily transport a spouse and unmarried children under 21 to America without any problems.

How to apply for EB-5

This can be easily done on your own, but it is better to use the support of an immigration lawyer: you will need to choose the right business, as well as collect evidence confirming that the funds you invest in it are obtained legally.

Where to turn for help?

The law firm of Elizaveta Samorukova has been helping clients move to the United States through employment since 2007. Collection of a case, preparation for an interview, proper paperwork — we will relieve any difficulties in the process of obtaining a visa.

Contact us

Always happy to help.