What is Employment-Based Immigration?

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What is Employment-Based Immigration?

People come to the U.S. for many different reasons. In some cases, it’s possible to obtain an employment-based immigration visa, although the total number of employment-based visas is capped annually. Employment-based immigration is intended for people from other countries with extraordinary abilities and skills, as well as those who hold advanced degrees, and certain professionals including doctors, lawyers, professors, and engineers.

Understanding the Process

An employer who wants to sponsor a candidate from another country may first need to obtain a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor; this depends on the category the employer and prospective employee intend to use in their requests for employment-based immigration. That category, in turn, is based on the skills, education, and experience the foreign employee could bring to the U.S.

Once they have the certification, the employer files a petition (Form I-140) with the immigration authorities requesting an employment-based visa for the potential employee. The prospective employee must also apply to get a “green card” or Lawful Permanent Resident status.

The U.S. also issues temporary employment-based visas to many applicants every year, allowing foreign workers to enter or stay in the U.S. lawfully to work on a seasonal or temporary basis before returning to their home countries or qualifying for permanent status another way. The reality is that the majority of permanent employment-based visas are issued to people who are adjusting their status from temporary to permanent, based on employment reasons. Applicants’ spouses and children can also be awarded employment-based visas based on the worker’s visa approval.

An Immigration Attorney Can Help

While there are five main categories for employment-based visas, there are several additional potential categories. Understanding which category to apply under, and navigating through an often-complex bureaucratic system, can be frustrating. When you work with the Immigration Law Center, you’ll have a skilled advocate on your side. To learn more about employment-based immigration, contact us today!