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EB1, EB2, EB3


The two principal avenues by which people abroad immigrate to the U.S. is through the employment-based (EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3) and the family-based categories. The employment-based category is divided into several subcategories.


The EB-1 category is composed of three sub-groups:


  • Persons of Extraordinary Ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. Applicants in this category must have extensive documentation showing sustained national or international acclaim and recognition in the field of expertise. A specific job offer is not required (an individual can file their own petition with the USCIS, rather than go through an employer) so long as the applicant will continue to work in the U.S. in the field in which they have extraordinary ability.


  • Outstanding Professors and Researchers with at least three years experience in teaching or research, and international recognition. Labor certification (also referred to as PERM) is not required, but the prospective employer must provide a job offer and sign the immigrant petition.


  • Multinational Executives and Managers are the third sub-group of the EB-1 category. Qualified persons must have been employed for at least one of three preceding years in an executive or managerial capacity by a U.S. parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of a foreign corporation. Labor certification is not required, but the prospective employer must provide a job offer and file a petition with the USCIS.


Persons falling into the EB-2 category must have a labor certification (commonly known as PERM) approved by the Department of Labor. A job offer is required, and the prospective U.S. employer must file a petition on behalf of the applicant. An application may be made for an exemption of the job offer and labor certification requirements if it would be in the "national interest.". There are two subgroups within the EB-2 category:


  • Professionals holding an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate), or a baccalaureate degree and at least five years progressive experience in the profession.


  • Persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business significantly above that ordinarily encountered within the field.


EB-3 category applicants must be sponsored by their prospective employer in all circumstances. There are three subgroups:


  • Professionals with a baccalaureate degree.


  • Skilled workers, i.e., those capable of performing work requiring at least two years experience or training.


  • Unskilled workers, i.e., those persons capable of filling positions requiring less than two years training or experience.



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