EB1, EB2, EB3, EB4, EB5 US Green Cards
First Preference (EB-1 priority workers): This category includes aliens with extraordinary ability; outstanding researchers and professors; and multinational executives. The applicants in this category have risen to the top in their area of endeavor, such as, athletics, research and management.
The applicant need not get a job offer or labor certification to get a US Green Card as an alien of extra ordinary ability. The aliens who are outstanding researchers or multinational managers (or executives) are required to obtain a job offer but they do not need labor certification.
Second Preference (EB-2 workers with advanced degrees and skilled workers with exceptional ability): This US green card category includes aliens who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees (A bachelor’s degree with 5 year experience) or their equivalent. This category also includes persons with exceptional ability as shown by their academic records in the arts, sciences or business.
Both a job offer and labor certification is required to obtain US green card under this category though a national interest waiver may be obtained in some cases.
Third Preference (EB-3 professionals, skilled workers, and other workers): The applicants in this category must be professionals with a Bachelor’s degree; or they must be skilled workers with at least two years of training or experience. The applicants with less than two year training or experience and without a Bachelor’s degree are also eligible, if their employer can demonstrate that the unskilled workers can perform unskilled labor for which qualified workers are not available in the USA. The applicants must have a job offer and a labor certification from the US.
Both a job offer and a labor certification is required to be eligible for US immigration.
Fourth Preference (EB-4 special workers such as religious workers and former US employees abroad): This US green card applicant category is for those who have been a members for at least 2 years of a religious organization that has a non-profit religious organization in the USA, and who will be working in a religious occupation at the request of local US religious organization.
No labor certification is required to be eligible for US immigration.
Fifth Preference (EB-5 Employment Creation/investment): An applicant and his/her immediate family can obtain US Green Cards by investing $500,000 in a government-approved Regional Center in one of 25 locations in the country. The government takes care of finding, starting, or running the applicant’s business.
An applicant is eligible for the US green card within two years and he and his family can live, study, or work anywhere in the United States. Up to 10,000 foreign investors can apply under this program in a year.
If an investor wants to start his own business, he is eligible to invest outside the designated regional center, but the process for US immigration is more complicated:
This category is for those who can invest between $500,000 to $10,00,000 in a new commercial enterprise in US and who can create or maintain 10 full time jobs for a period of conditional 2 years. The $500,000 investment requirement is for a rural area or an area suffering high unemployment rate. A new enterprise means a business established after 1990 or before 1990 if its restructuring results in 40% increase in employees or net worth.
Authors: Kamana Mathur, JD (Washington DC), Parminder Singh LL.B (Canada)