The number of employment-based Green Card immigrant visas available each fiscal year is limited to 140,000, which includes the immigrant plus their eligible spouses and minor children. Employment-based (EB) Green Cards are divided into 5 categories, each with different availability limits and eligibility criteria:
- 28.6% EB-1: Priority Workers
- 28.6% EB-2: Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability
- 28.6% EB-3: Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers
- 7.1% EB-4: Certain Special Immigrants
- 7.1% EB-5: Immigrant Investors
Employment-based EB green card holders are lawful permanent residents (LPR) of the United States and are eligible to apply for any job that is not restricted to U.S. citizens. EB visa holders can remain in the U.S. even if they are unemployed. Immigrants who acquire lawful permanent resident status through employment may apply for U.S. citizenship after five years.
There are 3 pathways to receive an EB Green Card and become an employment-based lawful permanent resident of the US:
- An employer can petition on behalf of a foreign worker and obtain a certification from the Department of Labor (DOL), establishing that there are no U.S. workers available, willing, and qualified to fill the position at a wage that is equal to or greater than the prevailing wage generally paid for that occupation in the geographic area where the position is located.
- The employer must petition USCIS for the foreign worker. An immigrant can petition for themselves under limited circumstances.
- A foreign worker who is already in the United States as a temporary visa can apply for “adjustment of status” to permanent resident upon the approval of the employer’s petition if there is a visa number available.
Most employment-based green card recipients already live in the United States. In FY 2014, 86% of employment-based visas issued were an adjustment of status from temporary visas, while 14% were new arrivals from overseas.
United States immigration laws are complicated and updated frequently. Mistakes in immigration applications can be costly and stressful and can result in denial of your petition or delays. An Immigration Simplified attorney can review your Green Card eligibility and guide you through the application process. We review your situation, provide you with the proper forms and help you submit your application. Please contact our office or call us at (312) 883-9944.