Immigrant Visa Types

Immigrant Visa Types

An overview of permanent residency visas.


Immigrant Visa Types

Main Article: Immigration

Visa Type Description Work Authorized? Length of Stay in the U.S. Type of Income Allowed
EB-1 Permanent residency, exceptional services Yes  Permanent n/a 
EB-2 Permanent residency with company sponsorship, exceptional services Yes  Permanent n/a 

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EB1 Visa Application

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The EB-1 visa provides permanent residency to aliens with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, outstanding professors and researchers as well as some executives and managers of foreign companies who are transferred to the U.S.

EB2 Visa Application

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The EB-2 visa provides employment-based permanent residency to aliens holding advanced degrees or their equivalent and individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.


EB-1 Overview

Main Article: EB-1 Visa

An EB-1 visa is intended for "priority workers" and grants the worker employment-based permanent residency. You may be eligible for an employment-based, first preference visa if you have an extraordinary ability, are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager.

A priority worker can be defined by one of the following:

  • Someone with extraordinary abilities in the arts, education, business, or athletics
  • Outstanding professors or researchers who are recognized internationally for their outstanding academic achievements in a particular field
  • Some executives and managers of foreign companies who are transferred to the United States.

EB-2 Visa Overview

Main Article: EB-2 Visa

An EB-2 visa is employment-based permanent residency.

There are 4 categories of workers who qualify for an EB-2 visa:

  1. Members of a profession holding an advanced degree (Masters + ) or it’s equivalent. The job must be a “profession,” including architects, engineers, lawyers, doctors, surgeons, or teachers.
  2. Someone with an “exceptional ability” in the sciences, arts, or business.
  3. “National Interest Waiver” - the same category as exceptional ability, but asking that the labor requirement be waived because of an interest to the United States. These individuals may self petition, meaning that they do not need an employer to sponsor them.
    • A case decided by The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Administrative Appeals Office has identified 7 key factors pertaining to the “national interest:”
      • improving the US economy
      • improving wages and working conditions of US workers
      • improving education and training programs for students and under-qualified workers
      • improving health care
      • providing more affordable housing to younger or older US residents
      • improving the environment in the US or making more productive use of natural resources
      • a request from a US government agency or someone that improves international cultural understanding
  4. Entrepreneurs may also qualify for an EB-2 visa under certain circumstances.