Understanding the U.S. Employment-Based Immigration Categories





Understanding the U.S. Employment-Based Immigration Categories

Understanding the U.S. Employment-Based Immigration Categories

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Connie Kaplan
Understanding the U.S. Employment-Based Immigration Categories

The United States, known for its diverse culture and vast opportunities, has always been a beacon for talented individuals from around the world. If you’re considering immigrating to the U.S. for employment, it’s essential to understand the various employment-based immigration categories available. Each category has its unique requirements and application processes. This article aims to shed light on these categories, helping you make an informed decision.

EB-1: Priority Workers

This Employment-Based Immigration category is reserved for individuals with extraordinary abilities in their respective fields, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational managers or executives.


  • Extraordinary Ability: You must provide evidence of a major, internationally recognized award or documentation in at least three criteria, such as published articles, original contributions, or a high salary.
  • Outstanding Professors and Researchers: Must have at least three years of experience and a distinguished record.
  • Multinational Managers or Executives: Must have been employed outside the U.S. in a managerial or executive capacity for at least one year in the past three years.

EB-2: Professionals with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability

This category is for individuals with advanced degrees or unique expertise in sciences, arts, or business.


  • Advanced Degree: A U.S. master’s degree or higher or a foreign equivalent degree.
  • Exceptional Ability: Must excel significantly above the ordinary in sciences, arts, or business.

EB-3: Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers

This Employment-Based Immigration category encompasses a broad range of employment-based immigrants, from skilled workers and professionals to other workers.


  • Skilled Workers: At least two years of job experience or training.
  • Professionals: A U.S. bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent, and the job you apply for must require such a degree.
  • Unskilled Workers: Jobs that require less than two years of training or experience.

EB-4: Special Immigrants

This category includes a diverse group of specialized roles, such as religious workers, certain overseas employees of the U.S. government, and others.


The requirements vary based on the specific sub-category. For instance, religious workers must have been a member of a religious denomination for at least two years and be coming to the U.S. to work in a religious capacity.

EB-5: Immigrant Investors

The EB-5 program is designed for entrepreneurs and their families who invest in commercial enterprises in the U.S. and plan to create or preserve ten permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.


  • Invest $1 million in a new commercial enterprise (or $500,000 in a targeted employment area).
  • The enterprise must benefit the U.S. economy and create the requisite number of jobs.

The Application Process for Employment-Based Immigration Categories

While the specifics can vary based on the employment-based immigration categories, the general process involves:

  • Petition Filing: The U.S. employer typically files a petition on behalf of the immigrant with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Adjudication: USCIS reviews the petition. If approved, it’s forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC).
  • Visa Application: Once a visa number is available, the immigrant can apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
  • Adjustment of Status: If the immigrant is already in the U.S., they can apply to adjust their status to a permanent resident.


Navigating the U.S. employment-based immigration system can be intricate. It’s crucial to understand the Employment-based immigration categories, their requirements, and the application process to ensure a smooth journey. Remember, every individual’s situation is unique, and what works for one might not work for another.

If you’re considering taking this significant step, it’s always beneficial to seek expert guidance. The Law Offices of Connie Kaplan, P.A. is here to assist you every step of the way. Our experienced team can provide the insights and support you need to make your American dream a reality. Contact us today for personalized assistance.

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