For many, the employment-based immigration process is the shortest path to obtaining a green card, thanks to an entire series of advantages. First of all, it takes less time than other immigration programs. Secondly, some employers are willing to give a helping hand for those who are not familiar with the process or who don’t have strong financial resources. What you might not have known so far is that the U.S. government has created a list of occupations prioritized according to the level of education and experience you need to fulfill the duties of the job and the overall importance of the job. And your chances of obtaining a permanent resident card depend, at least partially, on these preference categories. In other words, your career might be decisive.
If you fall under the First Preference category, you are just a step away from getting a green card. This category belongs to foreign nationals with extraordinary abilities, people who gave their share of contribution to humanity, researchers, scientists, professors, perhaps even Nobel Prize winners, or famous international artists. The category also includes multinational executives and managers, whose decisions affect worldwide businesses with thousands of employees.
The Second Preference category is your second best chance to obtain an employment-based green card. It includes professions that require higher education, such as Master degrees at least. This is the most popular level, because there is a wide pool of positions available, and the process is relative short. Careers in this category include computer engineers, civil and chemical engineers, financial managers, accountants, business and management analysts. If you are an exceptional artist, scientist or businessperson, then this is your category as well, but you must demonstrate outstanding abilities and contributions to your industry, with awards, publications or letters of recommendation from your previous employers.
The Third and final Preference category contains occupations that require at least a Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent. Most applicants seek permanent residence through this category, but this can reflect on the period of time you have to wait for available visa numbers, four years or even longer after an employer files a visa request for you. However, in most cases it is worth waiting.
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