a. Green Card Through Investment - Entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) who make an investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States and who plan to create or preserve ten permanent full time jobs for qualified United States workers, are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence). Up to 10,000 visas may be authorized each fiscal year for eligible entrepreneurs. You must invest $1,000,000, or at least $500,000 in a targeted employment area (high unemployment or rural area). In return, USCIS may grant conditional permanent residence to the individual.
b. Green Card Through Self-Petition - Individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, (E11) and Individuals who were granted a National Interest Waiver (NIW), (E21) are not required to have a job offer and may self-petition. Individuals of extraordinary ability are considered to be the best of the best in their field and it is an eligibility category that applies to very few individuals. Examples of who may be considered an E11 immigrant include Nobel Prize winners, notable athletes, and others who have achieved great successes in their field.
c. Green Card Through a Job Offer - If you want to apply for a green card (permanent residence) based on the fact that you have a permanent employment opportunity in the United States, or if you are an employer that wants to sponsor someone for a green card based on permanent employment in the United States, you must go through the following processes.
i. Approximately 140,000 immigrant visas are available each fiscal year for aliens (and their spouses and children) who seek to immigrate based on their job skills. If you have the right combination of skills, education, and/or work experience and are otherwise eligible, you may be able to live permanently in the United States. The five employment-based immigrant visa preferences (categories) are listed below.
1. EB-1: This preference is reserved for persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; and multinational executives and managers.
2. EB-2: This preference is reserved for persons who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or for persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. 3. EB-3: This preference is reserved for professionals, skilled workers, and other workers.
4. EB-4: This preference is reserved for “special immigrants,” which includes certain religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, retired employees of international organizations, alien minors who are wards of courts in the United States, and other classes of aliens.
5. EB-5: This preference is reserved for business investors who invest $1 million or $500,000 (if the investment is made in a targeted employment area) in a new commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time U.S. workers.
ii. Labor Certification: Some immigration visa preferences (EB-2 and EB-3) require you to already have a job offer from a U.S. employer. This employer will be considered your sponsor. For some visa categories, before the U.S. employer can submit an immigration petition to USCIS, the employer must obtain an approved labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). 1. The DOL labor certification verifies 1) there are insufficient available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers to fill the position being offered at the prevailing wage and 2) hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers