- Employment-Based Applications
There are five categories for foreign workers who may wish to apply for permanent residence based on their skills or training:
First Preference. Foreign nationals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; certain multinational executives or managers.
Second Preference. Professionals holding advanced degrees because of exceptional ability in sciences, arts, or business and their services will benefit the national economy.
Third Preference. Professionals with bachelor degrees; skilled workers with at least two years of training or experience; and other “unskilled” workers.
NOTE: Applicants under the Third Preference must obtain a Labor Certification from the Department of Labor. The goal of the Labor Certification process is to determine that the insufficiency of U.S. workers in the local area warrants the hiring of a foreign worker for the position. The local labor market is tested via advertising and other competitive recruitment.
Fourth Preference. Special immigrants such as religious workers and Ministers of religion.
Fifth Preference. Employment-creation investors. Must invest one million dollars or $500,000.00 in targeted high unemployment area or rural area. (“Millionaire” visa).
- Family-Based Applications
U.S. citizens may bring to the U.S. their immediate relatives (spouses, children, parents). If an alien spouse is already in the U.S., he or she may qualify to adjust status to that of a permanent resident (“green card” holder) without having to depart from the U.S. Additionally, permanent residents and certain visa holders may bring dependents such as their spouses and children to the U.S.
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