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A brief overview of employment immigration guidelines

American companies continually strive to acquire the greatest minds and talents in their industries by searching internationally for new employees. Beyond that, many different fields of work benefit from the skills and practical experiences that people from other countries offer. The United States government recognizes the strengths that immigrant workers possess, and allows for employment-based immigration under a large number of circumstances. However, it is important for those thinking of working in the U.S. to familiarize themselves with current immigration guidelines.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, thousands of people can and do enter the country to work on a permanent status every year. Workers from multiple industries, including nurses, investors, scientists, IT specialists and agricultural workers are all eligible; however, they all must meet the specific requirements of their appropriate employment application category.

The US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, discusses the five visa preference categories in more detail, and explains that employment-based immigration visas are issued to around 140,000 people every year. Typically, anyone seeking to enter the country to work must have a job offer, and the prospective employer must be eligible to hire immigrant employees. The five employment preference categories include:

  •          (E1) Priority workers
  •          (E2) Professionals holding advanced degrees and persons of exceptional ability
  •          (E3) Skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers
  •          (E4) Certain special immigrants
  •          (E5) Immigrant investors

Each category listed above is divided into subcategories. Beyond that, spouses and dependents are eligible to enter the country under certain employment-based guidelines in some cases as well.

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