Immigrants

EB-1A: Persons of Extraordinary Ability
Persons of extraordinary ability who have risen to the top few percentage points in their field of endeavor may self-petition for U.S. lawful permanent resident status. Extensive documentation to show qualification in at least three out of ten categories is required, along with a showing that the person will continue to work in the same field.


EB-1B: Outstanding Professors/Researchers
Outstanding professors or researchers who are internationally recognized and who are offered tenured or tenure-track positions may receive green cards if the position is permanent and is offered by a university or by certain research institutions.


EB-1C: Multi-National Managers and Executives
Multinational executives or managers may receive green card if there is a qualifying relationship between the foreign parent company and the U.S. branch or subsidiary and if the U.S. entity has been doing business for at least one year. The executive or manager must have at least one year of experience working for the parent company abroad prior to coming to the United States.


EB-2: Advanced Degree Professionals, Exceptional Ability, and National Interest Waiver
Professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability qualify if they have a permanent job offer from a U.S. employer that has completed the labor certification process or if they can show that the work is in the U.S. national interest (national interest waiver of the labor certification requirement).


EB-3: Professional and Skilled Workers
Professionals with bachelor’s degrees, skilled workers with at least two years of working experience, and unskilled workers may qualify if they have a permanent job offer from a U.S. employer that has completed the labor certification process and that can show continuing financial ability to pay the offered wage.


EB-4: Religious Workers
Special immigrants qualify for this category if they are either returning residents or workers in religious occupations with at least two years of experience working in the occupation and membership in the religious denomination.


EB-5: Immigrant Investors
Immigrant investors may obtain conditional two-year green cards if they make a qualifying at-risk investment and show likely creation of ten new fulltime jobs for U.S. workers within two years. They may obtain permanent green cards if they sustain the investment and create the jobs.


F-1: Unmarried Son or Daughter of a U.S. Citizen
A “son or daughter” in U.S. immigration law is a person 21 years or older, while a “child” is anyone under 21. A child also needs to be single to qualify for an F-1 Visa. Note that all family-based preference categories are subject to backlogs due to the annual quota or limit on the numbers of immigrant visas issued each fiscal year. The current average wait time for this category is about 8 years (Philippines: 15 years, Mexico: 21 years).


F-2A: Spouse and Unmarried Children of
Lawful Permanent Resident
A “child” is defined in immigration law as anyone under 21 who is unmarried. Note that all family-based preference categories are subject to backlogs due to the annual quota or limit on the numbers of immigrant visas issued each fiscal year. The current average wait time for this category is about 1.5 years.


F-2B: Unmarried Son or Daughter of
Lawful Permanent Resident
Unmarried sons or daughters (over 21) may be petitioned by their lawful permanent resident fathers or mothers. The person must remain unmarried until they receive their green card. Note that all family-based preference categories are subject to backlogs due to the annual quota or limit on the numbers of immigrant visas issued each fiscal year. Historically, the wait time for this category has been more than five years.


F-3: Married Son or Daughter of a U.S. Citizen
Note that all family-based preference categories are subject to backlogs due to the annual quota or limit on the numbers of immigrant visas issued each fiscal year. The current average wait time for this category is about 11 years (Philippines: 22 years, Mexico: 21 years).


F-4: Brother or Sister of a U.S. Citizen
Note that all family-based preference categories are subject to backlogs due to the annual quota or limit on the numbers of immigrant visas issued each fiscal year. The current average wait time for this category is about 12.5 years (Philippines: 23.5 years, Mexico: 18 years).


IR-1: Immediate Relative Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
An immediate relative spouse of a U.S. citizen may qualify if the marriage is bona fide and not solely for immigration purposes, if the person entered the U.S. legally (for adjustment of status) or resides abroad (immigrant visa processing). If the couple has been married for less than two years, the person will receive a two-year green card subject to condition removal (prove that marriage was bona fide) prior to its expiration.


IR-2: Immediate Relative Child of a U.S. Citizen
An immediate relative child, including stepchild, of a U.S. citizen may qualify if the U.S. citizen parent or stepparent files an immigrant petition and meets other requirements establishing the requisite relationship to the beneficiary.


IR-3: Orphan Adopted by a U.S. Citizen
An adopted orphan may be petitioned by the U.S. citizen parent or parents through a process of establishing the adoption and the relationship between the petitioner and beneficiary.


IR-4: Non-Orphan Adopted by a U.S. Citizen
An adopted child (non-orphan) may be petitioned after the U.S. citizen parent or parents can prove two years of both legal and physical custody of the child.


IR-5: Parent of a U.S. Citizen
A U.S. citizen over 21 may petition for his or her parent by establishing the familial relationship to the beneficiary and if the beneficiary is physically present in the United States, he or she must show a lawful entry with inspection.