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Virginia Immigration Lawyers Experienced with Employment-Based Immigration

A U.S. employer may sponsor an alien for permanent residency if it can prove that there are no able, willing or qualified U.S. workers available for the job position sought by the alien.

Five employment categories exist in which an alien may be the beneficiary of an application for permanent residency. The five employment-based categories are:

  1. EB-1 or Priority Workers: aliens of extraordinary ability; aliens who are outstanding professors or researchers; and aliens who are multinational executives or managers
  2. EB-2 Workers: Aliens who are “members of the professions holding advanced degrees” and “aliens of exceptional ability”
  3. EB-3 Workers: Aliens who are “skilled workers, professionals, and other workers”
  4. EB-4 Workers: Aliens who are special immigrants, including religious ministers, certain long-time residents of the U.S. government”
  5. EB-5 Workers: Aliens who invest one million dollars in a new enterprise in the U.S.

In the majority of employment-based cases, the petitioning employer must first obtain approval from the Department of Labor (DOL) through a labor certification application, which one of our DC immigration law firm can walk you through.

In a lot of instances, the employer may opt to conduct recruitment prior to submitting the labor certification application to the DOL. Our Virginia immigration attorneys have found that these applications are generally adjudicated more quickly than traditional cases. An employer has to demonstrate a pattern of recruitment typical to employers in the specific industry and geographical location, for a period of six months immediately preceding the submission of the labor certification application.

The employer must show that despite months of recruitment, it failed to locate any able, willing, and qualified U.S. workers. A typical pattern of recruitment will vary from one industrial sector to the next. However, at least one print ad is usually common amongst all job industries.  In addition, a prevailing wage determination must be done through the DOL, and the employer must pay at least 100% of the wage determined for the occupation.

Upon approval of the labor certification application, the alien beneficiary is ready to begin the second step towards permanent residency—obtaining an approved immigrant visa petition.

  • Prior to recent legislation, the employer had to first receive an approved immigrant visa petition before the alien beneficiary could apply for either adjustment of status or consular processing.
  • Currently, the Petition for Alien Worker can be filed simultaneously with an application for adjustment of status as long as the visa number for the employment category is current.

To determine which employment categories are current, click here for the Department of States’ monthly Visa Bulletin or ask our DC immigration law firm.

Employment-based permanent residency applications can take several years to be approved.

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