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Immigrant VISAs

The two most common methods of obtaining permanent residence status are:

  • Sponsorship from a US Employer
  • Sponsorship from a US citizen or permanent resident qualifying family member.

There are six major categories for Employment Based Immigrant Visas (with several sub-categories) and five major categories for Family Based Immigrant Visas. We are providing general information on the most widely used categories. You should always consult an attorney to determine which category you qualify for based on your specific circumstances. There are limits on the number of visas that can be issued in each category each year. Each month the State Department published a Visa Bulletin, which states whether visas are available (current) in each respective family and employment-based category. You can determine whether a visa is available for you based on your priority date. The Visa Bulletin is updated monthly and is available by clicking "Processing Times" above.

The employment categories include :

  • (EB-1) Priority workers (Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professors and Researchers and Intra-Company Executive and Managers Transferees)
  • (EB-2) Members of Professions holding Advanced Degrees and persons of Extraordinary Ability
  • (EB-3) Professionals, Skilled Workers and Unskilled Workers
  • (EB-4) Special Immigrants
  • (EB-5) Investors

The family categories (which are applications filed by US citizens and lawful permanent residences) include:

  • Immediate Relative (Spouse, Parent or Unmarried Child under age 21 of a US citizen). Note: There are no numerical limitations on this category
  • First Preference (Unmarried Sons and Daughters of US citizen)
  • Second Preference- divided into two sub categores: A. Spouses and children (under age 21) of Permanent Resident B. Unmarried sons and daughters of Permanent Resident
  • Third Preference (Married Sons and Daughters of US citizen)
  • Fourth Preference (Brothers and Sisters of Adult US citizen)

You can see a general discussion of the documentary requirements for each category and the application process by clicking on the appropriate category.

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