Under U.S. immigration law, about 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas become available to qualified applicants each fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.
According to the U.S. State Department, employment-based visas are divided into five categories. One of those categories is Employment First Preference, which concerns applicants who are determined to have "extraordinary abilities" and can lead to the granting of an EB-1 visa.
But just who qualifies for the Employment First category? This category has three groups.
- People with ability in the arts, athletics, business, education or sciences. Applicants must be able to show recognition in their field of expertise, which includes "sustained national or international acclaim," according to the State Department. Applicants don't need to have a job offer on the table as long as they are seeking to enter the U.S. and work in their field of "extraordinary ability."
- Managers or executives who have worked for the overseas affiliate, subsidiary or branch of an American firm. The conditions: the work must have been done in at least one of the three previous years, and the applicant must have worked in an executive or managerial position and will work in the same in the United States.
- Researchers and professors with at least three years of experience in research or teaching. They must be seeking to come to the country to pursue a research position at a university or other higher education institution or a tenure track teaching job.
Workers in the Employment First category clearly possess skills coveted in the American workforce, but in times such as these where immigration is in the spotlight and subject to change, it pays for prospective immigrants to seek the help and guidance of an attorney. Immigrants will want to make sure they have their paperwork properly filled out and present their best case for review.