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Immigrant Visas

Immigrant Visas: What You Need To Know

Immigrant visas allow foreign nationals to both work in the United States and apply for permanent residency (aka a green card). At Kurzban Kurzban Tetzeli & Pratt, P.A., our immigration law attorneys work with individuals, families and businesses to obtain necessary visas.

The following are the immigrant visas most commonly used by businesses:

  • EB-1 Foreign Nationals of Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professors and Researchers and Multinational Executives and Managers: Individuals in this category can petition for permanent residency without having to go through the time-consuming labor certification process.
  • EB-2 Workers with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability in the Sciences, Arts or Business: Visa holders in this category normally must have a job offer and the potential employer must complete the labor certification process. The labor certification involves a testing of the job market to demonstrate that the potential visa holder is not taking a job away from a U.S. worker. In cases where an individual can show that his entry is in the nation’s interest, the job offer and labor certification requirements can be waived.
  • EB-3 Skilled Workers and Professionals: Visa holders in this category normally must have a job offer, and the potential employer must complete the labor certification process.
  • EB-4 Special Immigrant Visas for Religious Workers: Ministers of religion are eligible for permanent residency as are certain other individuals in EB-4 such as special immigrant juveniles, NATO employees and persons who assisted the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • EB-5 Investor/Employment Creation Visas: Under the 1990 Immigration Act, Congress has set aside up to 10,000 visas per year for alien investors in new commercial enterprises that create employment for 10 qualified individuals. There are two groups of investors under the program — those who invest at least $500,000 in targeted employment areas (rural areas or areas experiencing high unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate) and those who invest $1 million anywhere else. A person may also invest through a regional center where he can show job creation directly or indirectly.

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