Except in certain cases, a specific offer of employment from an employer in the United States is required to qualify for immigration in the employment based preference categories.
- Priority Workers (Employment Based First Preference Category "EB-1"):Persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, arts, business or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; and certain multinational executives & managers.
- Members of "The Professions" (Employment Based Second Preference Category "EB-2"): Professionals holding advanced degrees or persons of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, and business.
- Professionals, skilled and unskilled workers (Employment Based Third Preference Category "EB-3"): Professionals holding baccalaureate degrees, skilled workers with at least two years of experience, and other workers whose skills are in short supply in the United States.
- Special immigrants (Employment Based Forth Preference Category ("EB-4"): Certain religious workers and ministers of religion, certain international organization employees and their immediate family members, qualified and recommended current and former employees of the U.S. government and returning residents.
- Investors: Persons who create employment for at least ten unrelated persons by investing capital in a new commercial enterprise in the United States ("EB-5): The minimum amount of capital required is between $500,000 and $1,000,000, depending on the employment rate in the geographic area.
The issuance of visas in the employment-based category might be subject to an annual numerical limitation. Priority dates can be checked in the Visa Bulletin available at www.travel.state.gov.