Unlike the temporary (nonimmigrant) employment visas, permanent employment visas allow an individual to obtain lawful permanent residence status in the United States, subject to visa availability. The permanent visa categories are broken down into five visa preference categories. Click below for more information about the specific preference categories:
This preference is reserved for persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; and multinational executives and managers. This category does not require the individual to obtain a labor certification through the U.S. Department of Labor’s PERM process, and, in certain instances, does not require the individual to have a offer of employment as long as they intend to work in their area of expertise.
This preference is reserved for persons who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or for persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. This category does require the individual to obtain a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor through PERM, although some individuals in this category may be able to obtain a “national interest” waiver of this requirement.
This preference is reserved for professionals, skilled workers, and other workers. This category does require the individual to obtain a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor through PERM.
This preference is reserved for “special immigrants,” which includes certain religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, retired employees of international organizations, alien minors who are wards of courts in the United States, and other classes of aliens. This category does not require a labor certification.
This preference is reserved for business investors who invest $1 million or $500,000 (if the investment is made in a targeted employment area) in a new commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time U.S. workers. Permanent residence obtained under the EB-5 category is initially conditional, and an individual must show that they have met the investment and job creation requirements within the two years following the initial grant of permanent residence in order to remove the conditions on residence. This category does not require a labor certification.
The requirements for obtaining a permanent employment visa can be very complex and challenging for individuals who are not experienced with the requirements. If you have a question regarding a permanent (immigrant) work visa, please contact the experienced employment immigration attorneys at Zeidan & Associates, LLC, at 614-459-2830.