In employment-based immigration, you can obtain either legal permanent residence through employment or investment, or a visa that allows you to temporarily work in the United States as a non-immigrant.
Temporary Work Visas
There are a variety of visas that allow one to work in the United States on a temporary basis, either for themselves or for an employer. These temporary work visas include, for example, E-2 visas, H-1B visas, O-1 visas and P-1 visas. Please click on one of the following links for more information: E-2 Visa, H-1B Visa, L-1 Visa, O Visa, P Visa.
One feature of all of these non-immigrant visas is that the beneficiary of the visa must have no intent to immigrate to the United States (with the exception of the H-1B visa, which is a dual intent visa – please review our H-1B Visa section for more information), and therefore must return to the country in which they are a national.
Green Card Through Employment/Investment
There are five employment-based (EB) categories ( EB-1 , EB-2 , EB-3 , EB-4 , EB-5 – please click on one of these categories for more information) available to obtain a green card through employment. A person may fit into one or more of these categories depending on their particular situation. Some of these categories allow the alien to petition themselves (i.e., EB-1 aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; EB-2 applicants applying for a National Interest Waiver , and EB-4 and EB-5 categories), while the rest require a prospective employer to petition for the worker.
Some of these categories require a job offer (i.e., EB-1 outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational executives and managers; and the EB-2 and EB-3 categories). Additionally, for some of the employment-based categories (EB-2 and EB-3), an employer must go through a process known as Labor Certification before they can file the appropriate petition.
An exception to the job offer, and therefore the labor certification requirement, for the EB-2 category is if the alien qualifies for a National Interest Waiver . Additionally, if the alien qualifies for a job in an occupation listed on the Department of Labor’s Schedule A , no labor certification is required (currently for EB-2 and EB-3 categories). The EB-5 category does not require a job offer or employment – it is related to job creation. This category is for investors, and allows one to obtain an investor immigrant visa.
Once the petition is filed in the appropriate EB category is approved and a visa is available based on the alien’s priority date, the employer (in categories requiring employer to file) or the alien (in categories allowing for self-petitioning), can file an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to obtain their green card.
Do you have questions about how to obtain a green card through employment or investment? Please contact a Woodland Hills employment immigration attorney for a consultation so we can help you decide what to do, and file all the required documents for you. In addition to Woodland Hills, we provide immigration attorney services in a variety of other areas, including Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Burbank, Calabasas, Canoga Park, Eagle Rock, Encino, Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, Los Angeles, Mission Hills, Monterey Park, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pasadena, Reseda , San Fernando , Santa Clarita, Sherman Oaks, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Warner Center, Winnetka, and West Hills. Even if your city is not listed, please don’t hesitate to contact us to see if we can help. Since immigration law is federal, we can help you wherever you live in the United States.