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 self-petitions
(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 the position.
You may obtain permanent residency in the
United States through different paths as
indicated in the right column.