Employment-based immigration visas come in a variety of forms, and foreign nationals seeking to work in the United States will need to carefully consider which category best suits their individual situation. For some highly specific workers—religious workers, armed forces members, and broadcasters, among some others—The EB-4 visa provides a “special immigrants” option for those who do not fit in another category. This means that more stringent requirements, like the EB-2’s advanced degree specification, do not need to be met.
EB-4 Visa Benefits
EB-4 visas are often referred to as “fourth preference” because they are prioritized below the other employment-based visas (aside from EB-5s). However, this category does enjoy expedited processing that significantly cuts down on waiting time for a decision on the petition. In addition, EB-4 visa holders are eligible to submit an application for legal permanent residence and can begin the process of getting a green card to make their living in the United States permanent.
Those approved for an EB-4 visa are welcome to bring their family by submitting applications for family visas. While the extended family does not qualify, a spouse and any under-21 children are eligible for family visas alongside the EB-4 applicant.
The crux of the EB-4 visa is that the foreign national who is applying is a “special immigrant”—in other words, that the person holds a very specific job. This means that in order to apply for and be approved for an EB-4 visa, a foreign national must supply comprehensive proof that they work in the specified field in addition to other details.
For example, a priest would be required to prove that they are recognized as a member of a religious body, and additional proof would be required that demonstrates numerous years (typically a minimum of two) of experience working in the applicable field. Comprehensive petitions will include proof of employment as well as a detailed overview of duties.
Understanding exactly which categories of workers may qualify for an EB-4 can be a challenge, which is why it is important to reach out to an experienced lawyer. In addition, only 5,000 EB-4 green cards are available each year (though this cap does not apply to ministers). EB-4 visas are processed according to their priority date, which varies by country.
For this reason, the amount of time it takes for a decision to be made on your EB-4 visa application package may vary from as soon as a few months up to a few years. This is an important consideration to keep in mind.
Reach Out Kermit A. Monge Today
Applying for an employment-based visa can be overwhelming. Thankfully, The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge can guide you through the process and assist you in preparing a comprehensive and compelling petition that will give you the best chance possible to see your immigrant petition approved. Reach out today to discuss the specifics of your situation and begin the process of compiling an employment-based immigration petition to enter and work in the United States by giving us a call at 703.273.5500 or requesting a consultation online.