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Employment-based immigration is typically divided into five categories, each with sub-categories, which will be discussed at length below. Each category is referred to as a numerical preference, and each category is aimed at certain types of professional workers, employees with a certain background, or investors. At Verma Law Firm, we are here to help you determine which category applies to you and help you with the application process.

The categories are as follows:

  • First Preference – Priority Workers (EB-1 Category) The EB-1 category: This, or First Preference, is highly desirable because the applicant does not need to file for a labor certification. Also, the EB-1 category’s priority dates are more frequently current than EB-2 or EB-3. A current priority date means that there is no wait and that an immigrant visa number is currently available for the applicant. The First Preference, often referred to as the Priority Worker category, includes the following three categories: 1) persons of extraordinary ability; 2) outstanding professors and researchers; and 3) multinational organization managers and executives.
  • Second Preference - Members of Professions with Advanced Degrees or Aliens of Exceptional Ability (EB-2 Category): This category is advantageous because EB-2 priority dates are more frequently current than the EB-3 category. The EB-2 category is for professionals who have advanced degrees or their equivalent or individuals who will substantially benefit the U.S. economy, cultural or educational interests because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business.
  • Third Preference – Professionals, Skilled and Other Workers (EB-3 Category): The Third Preference is for three categories: 1) professionals, 2) skilled workers, and 3) other workers. All EB-3 applicants must file a labor certification and have a job offer. Also, a national interest waiver (NIW) is not available for EB-3 applicants. An EB-3 applicant may fall under Schedule A of the DOL regulations and therefore not be required to test the labor market (see below for Schedule A eligibility). Unfortunately, the EB-3 category is subject to long backlogs, especially for applicants from India and China. EB-3 applicants from such countries with a long backlog must often wait years before they can complete the immigration process.
  • Fourth Preference – Special Immigrants (EB-4 Category): The Fourth Preference is comprised of several specialized categories, as listed below. EB-4 applicants may petition without an employer, but must file the Form I-360 with documentary evidence showing that they are eligible as special immigrants. EB-4 visas comprise a smaller total number of visas than EB-1s, EB-2s, or EB-3s.

Give us a call today at (408) 560-4622 to schedule a consultation with a San Jose immigration lawyer!

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