Employment-based immigration generally refers to
the immigrant petitions sponsored and filed by your
U.S. employer on your behalf to get permanent resident
status (i.e. “green card”) for you.
However, though certain immigrant petitions are
(i.e. they do not require that you have a job),
they are classified as employment-based immigration
under the U.S. immigration law.
The employment-based immigration categories are
commonly referred to as EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4,
and EB-5 as follows:
a. First Preference (EB-1 priority workers);
b. Second Preference (EB-2 workers with advanced
degree or exceptional ability);
c. Third Preference (EB-3 professionals, skilled
workers, and other workers);
d. Fourth Preference (EB-4 religious workers,
widowers, battered spouses); and
e. Fifth Preference (EB-5 immigrant investors).
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA)
provides for several employment-based immigrant
visa classifications, most of which have built-in
protections for the U.S. labor market. Indeed,
employment-based immigration generally requires
either a strong showing that the foreign worker
is one of the best in the field or that there
are no qualified U.S. workers available to fill
You may obtain permanent residency in the United
States through different paths as indicated in
the right column.