Individuals seeking lawful permanent residence in the United States can obtain their green cards through employment. 140,000 individuals are allowed to obtain green cards through a number of employment-based preference categories each year.
- The EB-1 preference category consists of individuals of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and executives and managers of multinational employers.
- The EB-2 preference category consists of persons of exceptional ability and persons whose jobs require an advanced university degree or its equivalent. The majority of EB-2 petitions require that an employer get approval of the PERM application from the United States Department of Labor sponsoring the individual for lawful permanent residence.
- The EB-3 preference category is composed of professionals, skilled workers, and unskilled workers. Like the EB-2 category, the majority of EB-3 petitions require that sponsoring employers get approval of a PERM application.
- The EB-4 preference category is made up of religious workers and other “special immigrants.”
- The EB-5 preference category is solely for investors.
Please note that employers sponsoring individuals belonging to the EB-1, EB-4, and EB-5 categories are never required to go through the PERM process in order to successfully obtain green cards for their employees.