Employment-Based Green Cards

Sponsorship by a U.S. employer is one of the primary paths by which foreign nationals become permanent residents of the United States.  There are three main employment-based green card categories, each with different requirements. These categories are frequently known by their abbreviations, EB1, EB2 and EB3.
EB1: The EB1 green card category represents the most preferred foreign workers under the U.S. immigration system.  The EB1 category consists of three subcategories:
  • EB1A green cards for aliens of extraordinary ability
  • EB1B green cards for outstanding professors and researchers
  • EB1C green cards for multinational managers and executives

EB2: The EB2 green card category represents the second most preferred foreign workers.  The category is available to:
  • Aliens seeking a job requiring an advanced degree or its equivalent (i.e. a bachelor's degree and five years of progressive work experience in the field)
  • Aliens having exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, and
  • Aliens meeting one of the EB2 standards above, and who establish eligibility for a National Interest Waiver (NIW)
EB2 applications must generally be accompanied by an approved labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor.  However, EB2 NIW applicants are requesting that the job offer and labor certification requirements normally attached to EB2 applications be waived, and thus need not be accompanied by either.
EB3: The EB3 green card category represents the third most preferred foreign workers.  The category is available to:
  • Professionals (those possessing a bachelor's degree or foreign equivalent, and seeking a job for which a bachelor's degree is the normal requirement for entry into the occupation) 
  • Skilled workers (those possessing at least two years of job training or experience and seeking a position requiring the same), and
  • Unskilled workers (those seeking positions requiring less than two years of training or experience, such positions being full-time and not of a temporary or seasonal nature).  
Essentially all EB3 petitions must be accompanied by a full-time job offer and an approved labor certification from the Department of Labor.