Employment Based Green Cards

helps people obtain employment based green cards.
(EB Adjustment to Lawful Permanent Resident Status)

Talented people from all over the world increase the collective productivity in the United States each year by entering or staying in the United States on temporary employment or business visas (for example, E, H-1Bs, L, O, P, and R visa holders).  Those visas are only temporary.  However, there is an avenue for many educated, talented or financially successful non-citizens to obtain a greencard (lawful permanent resident status) based on their employment or business abilities. 

There several different types of employment based (EB) immigration, each with its own requirements. Some require an offer of employment.  Some require labor certification (PERM), which is an arduous and lengthy process.  Read about each EB immigration option and their specific requirements below:

EB-1 - Priority Workers

The EB-1 is available to non-citizens with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and managerial or executive transferees.  There is an annual cap on the number of EB-1s awarded each year.  Currently, that cap is 40,000. 

Extraordinary Ability Workers
  • extraordinary ability in:
    • science
    • art
    • education
    • business
    • athletics
  • demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim
  • achievements recognized in the field through extensive documentation
  • seeking entry to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability
  • entry will be substantially beneficial to the United States

No labor certification is required.

No employment offer is required.

What is extraordinary ability?

Extraordinary ability is:

  • a one time achievement such as a major internationally recognized award (i.e. Nobel prize) or,
  • 3 of the following:
    • receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards
    • membership in an association in the field for which classification is sought which requires outstanding achievement of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts
    • published material about the person in professional or major trade publications or other major media
    • participation as a judge of the work of others
    • evidence of original scientific, scholastic, artistic, athletic or business-related contributions of major significance
    • authorship of scholarly articles in the field
    • artistic exhibitions or showcases
    • performances in a leading or cultural role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation
    • high salary or remuneration in relation to others in the field
    • commercial success in the performing arts

Outstanding Professors & Researchers


  • recognized internationally as outstanding in a  specific academic area
    • Must have 2 of the following:
      • receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement
      • membership in an association which requires outstanding achievement
      • published material in professional publications written by others about the applicant's work
      • evidence of the person's participation as a judge of the work of others
      • evidence of original scientific research
      • authorship of scholarly books or articles
  • has 3 years experience in teaching or research in the academic area
  • seeks entry:
    • for a tenure teaching position within a university or institution of higher education, or
    • at a comparable position at a university or institute of higher education to conduct research, or
    • at a comparable position to conduct research with a private employer if  the employer employs at least 3 full time researchers and the departmental, division, or institution has achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field. 

No labor certification is required.

An offer of employment is required. 

Managerial or Executive Transferees


  • employed abroad for 1 year (in the last 3 years) by firm or corporation or other legal entity or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof
    • the qualifying relationship between the U.S. entity (Petitioner) and the beneficiary's foreign employer must be maintained
  • seeks to enter the U.S. to continue to render services to the same employer, or subsidiary or affiliate, in a managerial or executive capacity.

Unlike the L-1B (Specialized Knowledge Transferee), you cannot obtain an EB-1 based on specialized knowledge. 

No labor certification is required.

An offer of full time permanent employment is required. 

EB-2 - Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability

EB-2s are available to those with advanced degrees and to those with exceptional ability in science, art, or business. There is an annual cap on the number of EB-2s awarded each year.  Currently, that cap is 40,000. 

General Requirements:
  • An offer of full time permanent employment, unless a national interest waiver is granted
  • Department of Labor certifies that workers are unavailable to fill the position, unless a national interest waiver is granted (PERM)
  • the non-citizen meets the minimum job requirements
  • the employer is able to pay the salary offered
  • the employer and the non-citizen intend for the Non-citizen to fulfill the position
  • an immigrant visa number is available to finalize the lawful permanent resident process

Advanced Degree (or equivalent) Requirements

  • Any U.S. academic or professional degree above a bachelor's degree, or
  • a bachelor's degree + at least 5 years of progressive experience in the specialty

Exceptional Ability Requirements

  • Degree of expertise above that ordinarily encountered in his or her field
  • 3 of the following are required:
    • official academic record showing  a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability,
    • evidence that alien has at least 10 years of full time experience in the occupation for which he or she is being sought,
    • a license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation,
    • evidence that alien commanded a salary, or other remuneration for services, which demonstrates exceptional ability,
    • evidence of membership in professional associations,
    • evidence of recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities, or professional or business associations.

What is a national interest waiver and how do I get one?

A national interest waiver will relieve the non-citizen of the above mentioned requirements to have a job offer in hand and to obtain a labor certification (PERM).

Requirements for a national interest waiver:

  • non-citizen seeks work in an area of "substantial intrinsic merit"
  • non-citizen provides a benefit that is national in scope, and
  • the benefit derived considerably outweighs the inherent national interest in protecting U.S. workers through the labor certification process.

EB-3 - Professionals, Skilled, & Other Workers

EB-3s are available to those who are professionals with bachelor's degrees (not qualifying as an EB-2), skilled workers, & unskilled workers.  There is an annual cap on the number of EB-3s that are awarded each year, which is currently 40,000 (with a maximum of 10,000 for unskilled workers). 

  • offer of full time permanent employment
  • labor certification (PERM)
  • non-citizen meets the minimum job requirements
  • employer is able to pay the salary offered
  • employer and non-citizen intend for the non-citizen to fulfill the position
  • an immigrant visa must be available to finalize the lawful permanent resident status process

EB-4 - Special Immigrants

An EB-4 is available to those who are returning lawful permanent residents without a valid lawful permanent resident card (green card), a person reacquiring U.S. citizenship, religious workers, Special Immigrant Juveniles, and more.  This is a very specialized EB immigrant option and most of the options apply to a very limited population.  A large portion of EB-4s relate to Religious Workers, described below.

Religious Workers

Religious workers can obtain lawful permanent resident status (green card) through the EB-4 process.

  • have been a member of a religious denomination for the 2 years immediately preceding filing and the religious denomination has a bona fide, non profit religious organization in the United States
  • is entering the U.S. to work full time (35 hours) in a compensated position solely to carry on the vocation as a minister, or to work for a bona fide, nonprofit religious organization, or it's affiliate, in the U.S
  • the non-citizen has been working as a minister or in a religious vocation or occupation, either abroad or in lawful status in the U.S. for at least 2 years immediately preceding the filing of the petition

Who qualifies as a minister or religious worker?

  • Minister
  • fully authorized and trained under denomination to conduct religious worship and other duties usually performed by members of the clergy
  • is not a lay preacher
  • performs activities with a rational relationship to the religious calling of minister, and
  • works solely as a minister in the U.S., which may include administrative duties. 
  • Religious Worker
  • an individual engaged in, and according to the denomination's standards, qualified for a religious occupation or vocation, whether or not in a professional capacity, or as a minister

The petitioning religious organization must be a 501(c) religious organization or part of a group that has received a 501(c)(3) designation. 

EB-5 - Investors

EB-5s are available to those with a large amount of capital willing and able to invest that capital within the United States.  This green card option is designed to create jobs for American workers while giving a non-citizen a pathway to obtain lawful permanent residence.

  • must invest in a new commercial enterprise
  • 1 Million Dollar investment, or $500,000 investment in targeted employment areas
  • the new commercial enterprise must employ 10 United States citizens or authorized immigrant workers full time
  • will engage in day to day business or policy formation

If you or someone you know is interesting in setting up a consultation to determine eligibility for any of the employment based immigration options, please call us:

Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon



407-228-2019 (Orlando). 
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