Are you looking forward to living and working in the USA? Do you have a dream of becoming a permanent resident of the country?
Have you heard of an employment-based green card?
If not, then you’ll be relieved to know that you can live & work in the USA and obtain permanent residency as well. Below is some information that will take you through the basic meaning of the employment-based green card, different categories of employment-based green cards and the documents required to obtain the same.
What is an employment-based green card?
An employment-based green card legally allows a foreign national (someone born in a foreign country) the right and privilege to live and work in the U.S. It is called an “employment-based” green card because people who fall into specific categories are eligible for this, based on employment-related factors. They have some form of knowledge, skill, or business in the U.S. which makes them valuable to the economy.
An employment-based green card is one of the most common ways in which foreign nationals get permanent residency in the U.S. People either apply for it from abroad or they apply for an Adjustment of Status for example from an H-1B visa to a green card.
Remember, a green card is not a passport. You’ll need to keep the passport from your country of birth and renew it each time before it expires. A green card only helps you pass through a U.S. border as a permanent resident. You still need to show the passport from your country of birth.
A green card also allows you to work in the U.S. Keep in mind, however, if your application for permanent residency is still processing, you’ll need to have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) before you are able to work in the U.S.
Employment-based green card categories
Green cards aren’t handed out like candy. Only specific people are eligible for permanent residency based on employment-related reasons.
In fact, only 140,000 employment-related green cards may be issued every year. And only a yearly total of 9,800 people may immigrate from a specific country to the U.S. Let’s look at the 5 predominant categories eligible for an employment-based green card.
EB-1 Priority Workers
EB-1 priority workers have exceptional and extraordinary abilities in fields such as science, art, education, business, sports, or athletics. Professors and researchers are also included in this category.
This category specifically focuses on providing eligibility to people who are internationally recognized for their contributions to their respective fields. Certain managers and executives from multinational corporations may also apply under this category for an employment-based green card.
The EB-1 category receives a type of preference and that is why so many people apply for it. The requirements are strict and applicants are scrutinized to ensure they comply. As it is so popular, this category has a quota to regulate the number of people allowed to immigrate under it. Only 28.6% of the 140,000 yearly total (about 2,800 people) are allowed to get employment-based green cards in this category per year.
EB-2 Professionals With Advanced Degrees or Persons With Exceptional Ability
This category specifically caters for people with extraordinary or exceptional abilities who can benefit the nation in relation to educational or cultural related activities. People in the fields of science, art, and business are also included in this group. Learned professionals with five years work experience and advanced degrees can apply through this category. It also provides a way of application for physicians who intend to practice in underserved areas of the U.S.
Once again the popularity of this group calls for a stringent quota under which only 28.6% of the total 140,000 may get a green card through category EB-2.
EB-3 Skilled or Professional Workers
People who apply through the EB-3 category need a minimum of two years of training experience. It also includes people from abroad with an undergraduate degree or vocational training. The great thing about this category is that it also provides an opportunity for the immigration of unskilled workers with sufficient experience in fields that aren’t that abundant in the U.S.
This category also has the same 28.6% quota allowing about 2,800 people per year to immigrate to the U.S. on an EB-3 visa. The requirements are less stringent and therefore get the most applications per year.
EB-4 Special Immigrants
This category predominantly tends to receive applications from religious workers who represent a nonprofit organization in the U.S., employees and former employees of the U.S. government from abroad, and people who were translators for the U.S. Armed Forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
7.1% of the total allowed employment-based immigration may get a green card through EB-4. That means only 695 people from a country may immigrate to the U.S. per year through EB-4.
EB-5 Investors (Employment Creation)
This group of foreign nationals are all investors and entrepreneurs, have the intention to invest more than $1,000,000 into the U.S. economy and will create more than 10 new permanent jobs. In certain instances, the requirements may be lowered to an investment of $500,000 which will create 5 new full-time jobs.
This category also has a quota of 7.1% of the total 140,000 allowed per year. Only 695 people per country per year may immigrate to the U.S. through category EB-5.
Documents required for an employment-based green card
Every application is unique and yours is too. Consult an immigration attorney for the best possible advice regarding your application. You may need to provide specific documentation to help out your case.
But for now, here are the basic documents required for an employment-based green card application:
Form I-485 - Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
Form I-797 - Approval or Receipt Notice (for Form I-140 filed on your behalf).
Form I-485 supplement J - To confirm that the job offered as stated in your I-140 is a bona fide offer and that you intend to accept it once your I-485 is approved.
Two passport-style photos
Copy of your identification document
Copy of your birth certificate
Copy of your passport page with non-immigrant visa (if applicable)
Copy of your passport page with admission or parole stamp issued by a U.S. officer (if applicable)
Copy of every I-94 you have - Travel and departure records.
Proof that you’ve maintained lawful status since arriving in the U.S. (or that you are exempt)
Form I-864 - An affidavit of support from someone in the U.S.
Form I-693 - Medical examination report.
Certified police clearances - A history of your criminal record.
Form I-601 - Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (if applicable).
Form I-212 - Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal (if applicable).
Documentation of past or present J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant status (if applicable)
Form I-508 - Only for people holding nonimmigrant status A, G, or E.
Form I-566 - Interagency Record of Request only for people who have A, G, or NATO nonimmigrant status.
Form I-485 Supplement A - Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i) (if applicable).
Filing Fees - Remember to pay your filing fees and to also keep receipts for future reference.
Provided the 5 categories of employment-based green cards and the documents required for obtaining one, we are looking forward to sharing more information with you in the next part of this article.
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