The United States Green Cards also known as the Employment-based immigration visas grant foreigners the right to live and seek gainful employment as permanent residents in the US.
The US Green Card which offers permanent residency can be obtained in two ways: One of the ways of obtaining a US Green Card is through employment from a US employer or through sponsorship by a family member. (There exist an annual Green Card diversity lottery when foreigners can try their luck and be selected to come to the US as a permanent resident having satisfied all eligibility requirements).
The Employment-based Green Card is divided into five categories which are:
Foreign professionals who have demonstrated an excellent and brilliant contribution in their various fields of endeavours such as science, education, art, athletics, and business are eligible for this visa stream. Also eligible for this category are professors, researchers, executives and managers of multinational companies.
A foreigner who satisfies the eligibility requirements are issued a permanent resident visa and have the right to sponsor their spouse and dependent to the US and also have the liberty to travel in and out of the United States.
The EB-1 visa is further subdivided into three categories by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):
- Outstanding Researchers and Professors: Foreign professors and researchers who have displayed remarkable brilliance in their various academic endeavours with a minimum of three years of teaching experience and research, and also have a valid job offer of employment from a US employer qualify for this category.
- Foreigner With An Extraordinary Ability: Foreign nationals who have displayed exceptional brilliance in their various fields on endeavours such as business, arts, sciences, athletics and education are eligible for this visa stream. As part of the application process, the applicant is required to provide documentary evidence as proof of their significant achievement.
- Managers or Executives of Multi-Nationals: A foreigner who has demonstrated impressive performance as managers or executives of multinational companies and has registered their desire to work in a managerial o executive position with a US employer are eligible for this visa stream.
This visa category targets foreigners with an advanced degree or its equivalent in science, business or arts. This visa category is further subdivided into three categories:
- EB-2A Advanced Degree: A foreigner who hold an advanced degree or its foreign equivalent, with a minimum of five years work experience is eligible for this visa stream.
- EB-2B Exceptional Ability: Foreigners who have demonstrated brilliance in their various fields of endeavours such as sciences, business or arts and who holds an advanced degree are eligible for this category.
- EB-2C National Interest Waiver: This visa stream targets foreign professionals whose expertise or skills serve the best interest of the United States. E.g. A foreigner professional physician who agrees to full-time work conditions in the US when there is a shortage of healthcare workers is eligible for this visa category. However, the foreign professional must have a valid offer of employment or may self-petition the government by filling the form1-140 and attaching evidence why his/her petition will serve the best interest of the United States.
Certain foreign professionals, skilled and unskilled workers with the relevant work experience, qualification and education with a valid job offer from a US employer qualify for this visa stream.
This visa category is aimed at foreign professionals not covered in the other immigration categories, and the following people qualify for this visa stream:
- Translators of Iraqi/Afghan languages
- Nationals of countries with a treaty that allow them to serve in the US armed forces.
- Physicians practising in the US since January 10, 1978 or earlier.
- Civilian employees of the North American Treaty Organization (NATO) who has worked missions authorized by the NATO treaty.
This visa stream is reserved to target foreign investors or entrepreneurs with the financial strength to create new jobs in the United States by investing huge sums of $500,000 or $1,000,000.