First Preference (EB-1 workers-aliens with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors, researchers and certain multinational executives and managers):
Aliens with extraordinary ability are those with "extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation." Providing three of the following types of evidence will demonstrate extraordinary ability for immigration purposes:
Applicants in this category do not have to have a specific job offer. However they must be entering the U.S. to continue work in the field in which they have extraordinary ability. These applicants may file their own petition with the USCIS, rather than through an employer.
Outstanding professors and researchers are recognized internationally for their outstanding academic achievements in a particular field. In addition, an outstanding professor or researcher must have at least three years experience in teaching or research in that academic area, and enter the U.S. in a tenure, or tenure track, teaching or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education. If the employer is a private company, it must employ at least three people full time in research activities and have achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.
Evidence that a professor or researcher is recognized as outstanding in an academic field must include at least two of the following:
No labor certification is required for this classification, but the prospective employer must provide a job offer and file a petition with the USCIS
Some executives and managers of foreign companies who are transferred to the U.S. may qualify in this category. A multinational manager or executive is eligible for priority worker status if he or she has been employed outside the U.S. in the three years preceding the petition for at least one year by a firm or corporation and seeks to enter the U.S. to continue service (in a managerial or executive capacity) to that firm or organization. The employment must have been outside the United States in a managerial or executive capacity and with the same employer, an affiliate, or a subsidiary of the petitioning U.S. employer.
The petitioner must be a U.S. employer, doing business for at least one year, that is an affiliate, a subsidiary, or the same employer as the firm, corporation or other legal entity that employed the foreign national abroad.
These categories are the most common categories for obtaining permanent residency through employment. A green card through employment in the above categories is generally a three-step process.
The first step requires filing a labor certification application with the Department of Labor attesting that there are no U.S. workers available to fill the required position (PERM).
The second step requires filing an application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). The final step requires filing an adjustment of status application when a visa becomes available. In certain cases, step 2 and step 3 can occur at the same time.
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