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Employment-Based Immigrant Visas

Employment-Based Permanent Residence (EB Visa) Categories

Detailed Information

Do you have a desire to live permanently in the U.S. based on your employment skills, abilities, training, experience, or field of expertise?

If your answer is “Yes,” then this is a chapter you will want to read, as it covers important information for you to obtain an EB visa! The employment-based permanent resident visa category is most commonly used by people who intend to permanently settle in the U.S.. By filing through various employment classifications, through a U.S. employer, or through self-sponsorship, a foreign national may be able to obtain their permanent residency in the U.S..

The Immigration and Nationality Act provides a yearly minimum of 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas (EB visas), which are divided into the five preference categories in the chart below. This chapter will discuss the three major employment-based permanent resident preference categories (i.e., EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 visas).

By the way, it is not unusual for foreign nationals to enter the U.S. on an H-1B visa, an L Visa or an F-1 visa, and later consider one of the employment-based categories below to immigrate to the U.S.. In other words, many foreign nationals enter the U.S. as professional workers, students, or managers of corporations. After working in the U.S. for some time or conducting research as a Ph.D. student they consider immigrating to the U.S. under the following categories.

Employment-Based Immigrant VisaPercentage of Yearly Limit
Employment First Preference (EB-1)28.6 percent
Employment Second Preference (EB-2)28.6 percent, plus any unused Employment First Preference visas
Employment Third Preference (EB-3)28.6 percent, plus any unused Employment First & Second Preference visas
Employment Fourth Preference (EB-4)7.1 percent
Employment Fifth Preference (EB-5)7.1 percent

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