Immigration Based on Employment
- Who can get a visa based on employment?
There are several categories within employment visas:
First Employment Preference: This category is reserved for persons of “extraordinary ability” in the arts, sciences, education, and business. This is a very tightly controlled category and is only open to a few applicants.
Second Employment Preference: This category is limited to professionals holding advanced degrees and individuals who are determined to be of “exceptional ability” in the arts, sciences, or business.
Third Employment Preference: This category is reserved for professionals who hold baccalaureate degrees; skilled workers with two years of training and experience; and other workers capable of filling positions requiring less than two years of training experience.
Fourth Employment Preference: This category is intended for “special immigrants,” which includes religious workers, former employees of the Panama Canal Company, and certain former employees of the United Nations.
Fifth Employment Preference: This category is reserved for applicants who seek to invest $1 million (sometimes reduced to $500,000) in a new, expanded business venture that will create employment for at least ten U.S. workers.
- How long will I have to wait to get my immigrant visa?
For both family-based and employment-based visas, check the current Visa Bulletin on the State Department’s Web site.