U.S. Work Visas: Employment Sponsored Immigration
Each year US immigration law allocates about 140,000 employment immigration visas (i.e. US work visa for immigration) to qualified applicants whose prospective employer or agent has obtained the required labor certificate from the US Department of Labor, and has filed the necessary Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Certain allowances are made for spouses and children under 21yeas of age.
There are five US work visa categories for employer sponsored immigration:
Employment First Preference (E1): Priority Workers
This group receives 28.6 percent of the yearly limit of employment-based immigrant visas. A labour certification is not required for this category which covers the following three sub-groups:
1. Persons with extraordinary ability in the fields of science, arts, education, business, or athletics. Note: Individuals in this sub-group are also allowed to file their own petitions.
2. Outstanding professors and researchers with three or more years experience in teaching or research, and who are recognized internationally.
3. Multinational managers or executives who are employed a by overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of a U.S. employer.
Employment Second Preference (E2): Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability
This group also receives 28.6 percent of the yearly limit of employment-based immigrant visas. With this category labour certification is required and covers the following two sub-groups:
Professionals holding an advanced degree
Persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
Employment Third Preference (E3): Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)
This group also receives 28.6 percent of the yearly limit of employment-based immigrant visas. With this category labour certification is also required and covers the following tthree sub-groups:
Skilled workers in jobs requiring a minimum of 2 years training.
Professionals whose jobs require at least a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. university or college or its foreign equivalent degree.
Unskilled workers whose jobs require less than two years training or experience.
Employment Fourth Preference (E4): Certain Special Immigrants
This fourth preference group refers to the special groups designated by the U.S Government, or requiring the Special Immigrant Form I-360. This category has a large number of sub-groups.
Employment Fifth Preference (E5): Immigrant Investors
This category covers immigrant investors, and entrepreneurs who must first file an Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur with USCIS. Once this application has been approved, the investor or entrepreneur can then apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the United States.