Employment-Based Immigration

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Through employment-based immigration programs, professionals with job offers from American companies can live in the United States while furthering their careers and contributing to the country’s economy. There are several types of employment-based visa programs. Work with the team at Sandoval & James to figure out which visa category fits your qualifications.


The EB-1B green card is designed for outstanding researchers and professors. This program is extremely specific in terms of which professionals can apply, but the term “extraordinary” is intentionally fairly vague. There are several ways that researchers or professors can meet the standard of “extraordinary” to get an EB-1B visa. You must have at least three years of relevant experience in your area of research, and you must be planning to seek tenure or a similar qualification. Additionally, you must meet two of the following requirements:

  • Membership in an association that requires outstanding achievement in your field
  • Prizes or awards for your abilities or achievements
  • Author of scholarly articles or books in journals related to your field
  • Important contributions to your field of study
  • Publications about your work written by others and published in a reputable journal
  • Judged the work of your peers, either as an individual or as part of a panel

In order to apply for an EB-1B visa, you need a job offer from a U.S. employer that will file the petition for you.


Known as a “second preference” visa because applicants are considered after EB-1 applicants, the EB-2 immigration visa is optimal for those who hold an advanced degree, have exceptional ability in their field of study, or have a national interest waiver. Each one of these qualifications has separate requirements.

If you want to apply by meeting the advanced degree requirement, you must have a job offer for a position that requires an advanced degree. This is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree plus five years of experience in your field. Your application will require an official academic record and letters from employers that show that you have at least five years of post-baccalaureate experience in your field.

Those who want to demonstrate exceptional ability have to supply evidence that they have a degree of expertise substantially higher than what is expected in their field. You have to meet three of the following requirements:

  • Degree, diploma, or certificate from an educational institute in your field
  • Proof of at least 10 years of work experience in your field
  • Recognition for your accomplishments in your field from government agencies, professional organizations, or peers
  • Proof that you have earned a salary that demonstrates the exceptional quality of your work
  • License to work in your field

If you want to apply for a national interest waiver, you must meet three of the above requirements and prove that it’s in the best interest of the United States that you work within the country permanently.


Through the third preference visa program, professionals and skilled workers may be able to enter the United States. Applicants must fit into one of three categories: skilled workers, professionals, or unskilled workers. This visa is not designed for those whose work is of a temporary or seasonal nature.

If you are a skilled worker, you must have at least two years of job training or experience. Your job offer must be in a role that cannot be filled by qualified workers win the United States. To apply as a professional, you must have a bachelor’s degree or your country’s equivalent. The United States must have a shortage of people able to perform the work you are trained for. Unskilled workers must fill a worker shortage in the United States.

Regardless of whether you qualify for an EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 visa, the process can be time-consuming. Be ready to supply plenty of documentation and pay close attention to deadlines. At Sandoval & James, where we treat our clients like family, we’re ready to apply our expertise in immigration law to your unique circumstances. Contact our team at 512-647-2497 to set up a consultation.