If you meet certain criteria, you can legally immigrate to the U.S. for employment purposes.  The two primary employment visa categories are (1) permanent employment-based visas and (2) temporary work visas.  Prospective immigrants hoping to obtain an employment visa must typically obtain a U.S. employer’s sponsorship.

Employment-Based Permanent Visas

There are five preference categories of permanent employment-based visas:

EB-1 Priority Workers:

Individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics.
Outstanding professors or researchers.
Managers and executives transferred to the U.S.

EB-2 Professionals with Advanced Degrees or Persons with Exceptional Ability:

Individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business.
Professionals with advanced degrees.
Qualified physicians intending to practice medicine in underserved areas.

EB-3 Skilled or Professional Workers:

Professionals with bachelor’s or equivalent degrees.
Skilled workers with at least two years experience.
Unskilled workers.

EB-4 Special Immigrants:

Religious workers.
Employees and former employees of the U.S. Government abroad.

EB-5 Immigrant Investors:

Individuals who are in the process of investing or have invested $500,000 – $1,000,000 in a new business that employs a certain number of people.


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Temporary Work Visas

There are over a dozen different types of temporary work visas, such as the H-1B visa, which allows foreign workers skilled in certain “specialty occupations” to legally work in the U.S. Entering the country via a temporary work visa can be a positive initial step toward permanent immigration. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney can help you determine the proper visa to apply for and get you on track for a more permanent immigration solution.


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