Permanent Work Visa Lawyers in Seattle

Helping Clients Achieve the Dream of Working and Living in the United States

Millions of people around the world dream of coming to the United States to live and work. If you have the necessary skills, education, and work experience and the desire to become a lawful permanent resident, you may be able to apply for a permanent work visa. The USCIS refers to permanent work visas as employment-based immigrant visas and issues a limited number of these visas every year.

The attorneys at Stelmakh & Associates, LLC., explain how employment-based immigrant visas work and why hiring an immigration attorney for your case may be the right decision. Our attorneys are here to help you get answers to all your permanent employment visa and immigration questions – call our office in Seattle at 206-558-6288 to learn more.

What Are the Different Types of Permanent Work Visas Available in the United States?

A foreign national wishing to immigrate to the United States may apply for one of five different employment-based visa categories, depending on their profile, skills, qualifications, education, and work experience. Because the U.S. has a limited number of employment visas available per country per year, the visas are divided into “preference categories” in order to attract highly skilled and educated individuals. Thus, the number of visas available for the three first preference categories is higher than for the fourth and fifth preference categories. Here are some of the different categories of employment-based immigrant visas available to foreign workers:

  • EB1(a) Extraordinary Ability Green Card: The EB1(a) Extraordinary Ability Green Card is a visa category for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
  • EB1(b) Outstanding Professor / Researcher Green Card: The EB1(b) Outstanding Professor / Researcher Green Card is a visa category for individuals with outstanding ability or advanced degrees in the sciences, arts, or business.
  • EB1(c) Multinational Manager/Executive Green Card: The EB1(c) Multinational Manager/Executive Green Card is a visa category for multinational executive or managerial employees who are transferring to the United States to serve in a managerial or executive capacity.
  • EB-2 Visa National Interest Waiver Green Card: This category is reserved for individuals holding advanced degrees or for those who possess exceptional ability. A National Interest Waiver (N.I.W.)permits an individual who qualifies under either EB-2 sub-categories (advanced degree or exceptional ability) to self-petition for a green card.
  • EB-3 Visa Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers: This third-preference visa category is reserved for qualified workers who meet the minimum experience and qualification requirements and have a full-time job offer in the United States.
  • EB-4 Visa Special Immigrants: This fourth-preference immigrant visa category is reserved for certain religious workers, broadcasters, physicians, and other special immigrants, such as members of the U.S. Armed Forces or special immigrant juveniles.
  • EB-5 Visa Investors: This fifth-preference category is for business investors who wish to invest at least $1.8 million dollars in a new commercial enterprise that generates full-time jobs for U.S. workers.

How Many Immigrant Work Visas Are Available Each Year?

The Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes a set number of visas to be issued annually. In total, this statutorily defined number is 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas per year. It is estimated that approximately 40,000 of these visas are reserved for each of the three first categories (EB-1 visa, EB-2, and EB-3), while EB-4 and EB-5 each receive about 10,000 visas per year. The USCIS approved more than 175,000 employment-based adjustment of status applications in 2021, which is only a fraction of the vast number of immigrant work visas and adjustment of status applications received each year.

Do All Employment-Based Visas Require a Labor Certification?

Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) is the system used for obtaining Labor Certification and is the first step for certain foreign nationals in obtaining an employment-based immigrant visa (Green Card). This is also known as PERM Labor Certification. The employment-based preference categories that require PERM Labor Certification are EB-2 (other than a National Interest Waiver) and EB-3.

Before a U.S. employer can file an immigration petition for a foreign worker with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in most EB-2 and EB-3 positions, the employer must first obtain an approved Labor Certification from the Department of Labor (D.O.L.). An application for labor certification is submitted to the DOL by using E.T.A. Form 9089.

The DOL must certify to the USCIS both that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified, and available to accept the job offered to the alien at the prevailing wage for that occupation in the area of intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

What Do You Need to Do to Apply for a Permanent Work Visa to the United States?

Most employment-based permanent residence petitions require applicants to submit Form I-140 to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with a long list of supporting documents. The required documents and certifications vary depending on the visa type and category you are applying for.

If you are interested in applying for an employment visa to the United States, consult an immigration lawyer at Stelmakh & Associates, LLC. Our attorneys can help you understand which visa category would best suit your profile and qualifications, and we can also assist you with the steps required to prepare and file your application. Our legal team is ready to assist you with all aspects of your application process. Call our office in Seattle at 206-558-6288 to learn more.

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