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What are employment immigration preferences for professionals?

The United States is widely respected for its opportunities. People from around the globe often want to come to the U.S. to live, work and be educated to take advantage of them. Employers in the public and private sector are constantly looking for experienced and qualified professionals in a variety of areas whether that is computers, education, production, government, finance or other industries.

Those who come to the Virginia and the Washington, D.C., areas as visitors are often so enthusiastic about what the United States offers them personally and professionally that they decide to explore the avenues to move to the United States and work.

There are basic requirements and categories for prospective immigrants. Knowing them and following the rules can help with a smooth process, a fair determination and a positive outcome.

Priority and professional workers: how are they categorized?

Priority and professional workers comprise the first three categories for employment-based visas. Employment first preference (E1) is for priority workers and those who are deemed as having extraordinary ability; the second preference (E2) is for those who have advanced degrees and exceptional ability; the third preference (E3) is for professionals, skilled and unskilled workers.

Under E1, the applicant could be someone who has shown extraordinary skills with a variety of endeavors including sports, business or the arts. If, for example, a widely acknowledged and respected musician strives to get a visa under E1 and then can do so if they plan to work in that field. It is not necessary to have a standing job offer to get a visa.

This category also applies to researchers, professors, managers and executives. Another example is if a medical researcher has 3 years of experience and is recognized across the globe, they can apply under this category.

E2 is for people who are professionals and have advanced degrees or are judged to have exceptional ability. In general, a person who applies as an E2 must have Department of Labor certification. There must also be a job offer.

These individuals also have an exemption from these requirements if they file for a National Interest Waiver. As the title states, the person’s visa must be in the national interest and benefit the country.

E3 applicants must file and have approval through an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker form. The employer must file it. They also need labor certification. They are grouped as such: skilled workers are getting a job that requires at least 2 years of work experience or training; professionals must have a B.A. from a U.S. college or university or the foreign equivalent; unskilled workers must be able to perform jobs that require 2 years of experience or training and is not a temporary or seasonal form of employment.

Professionals and others who fall into E1, E2 and E3 should know the rules

The United States strives to diversify its immigration policy but it also wants people who can make significant contributions. Under these categories, certain people have a higher chance of success at getting a visa if they have the requisite history, ability, education and work experience.

These issues can be complicated and people from other countries – no matter their skills and education – are unlikely to understand the nuance of getting an employment-based immigrant visa. To fill out the proper forms, take all of the necessary steps and avoid error-based delays, it is wise to have professional assistance that is well-versed in all aspects of immigration.

Even those who have a strong case should know this. It is especially vital for people who might have obstacles based on their past, family challenges or because they are coming from a country that is at odds with the United States. From the start, having guidance with all immigration laws is key and that should be the first step.

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