When an employer offers a job to a foreign national, it may also need to sponsor him or her to become a permanent resident. This involves filing a petition to show that the employer plans to hire the immigrant when the petition receives approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The USCIS explains that there are four categories of employment-based visas.
EB-1 first preference visas
An EB-1 visa is for priority workers. These professionals demonstrate extraordinary ability in a science field or in business, the arts, education or athletics. To qualify as “extraordinary,” the foreign national has obtained international recognition or acclaim in the field and has multiple years of experience.
An executive or manager working for an international company may be able to obtain this visa and move to the U.S. The employer may petition for it and transfer the employee to its own U.S. office or to one of its subsidiaries or affiliates as a manager or executive.
EB-2 second preference visas
Professional workers with advanced degrees may qualify for EB-2 visas. This category also applies to people whose exceptional ability will be beneficial to the United States’ economy, culture, welfare or educational interests.
EB-3 third preference visas
Sometimes, an employer cannot find professional, skilled or unskilled workers in the U.S. In that case, the employer may petition for EB-3 visas for workers in other countries who meet the qualifications and have the specified requirements.
EB-4 fourth preference visas
Certain doctors, religious workers, broadcasters, U.S. government employees, U.S. armed forces service members and others may qualify as special immigrants. Not only may an employer file a petition for these foreign nationals, but the immigrants may be able to file the petition themselves without an employer sponsor under certain circumstances.
If a foreign national does not meet the qualifications for an employment-based visa, there may be other options available.