Understanding the Different Types of Employer-Sponsored Green Cards

Employer-sponsored green cards serve as a pathway to permanent residency in the United States for foreign nationals offered employment by U.S. employers. These green cards, falling under the employment-based (EB) immigrant visa category, encompass five preference categories, each tailored to specific groups of professionals or workers. Let’s explore these categories and their requirements in detail.

EB-1: Priority Workers

The EB-1 category caters to “priority workers” including individuals with extraordinary abilities in various fields such as sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. It also includes outstanding professors, researchers, and certain multinational managers and executives.

1.1 EB-1(a): Extraordinary Ability Reserved for individuals demonstrating extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim.

1.2 EB-1(b): Outstanding Professors and Researchers For internationally recognized professors and researchers with at least three years of experience in their academic field.

1.3 EB-1(c): Multinational Managers or Executives Designed for managers and executives employed for at least one year by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. employer.

EB-2: Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability

This category is for professionals with advanced degrees or equivalent qualifications, as well as individuals with exceptional ability in sciences, arts, or business.

2.1 EB-2(a): Advanced Degree Applicable to individuals with advanced degrees or at least five years of progressive experience in their profession.

2.2 EB-2(b): Exceptional Ability For individuals with expertise significantly above the norm in sciences, arts, or business.

2.3 EB-2(c): National Interest Waiver For individuals with exceptional ability whose employment in the U.S. would greatly benefit the national interest.

EB-3: Skilled, Professional, or Other Workers

This category encompasses skilled workers, professionals, and other workers, albeit with a longer waiting time compared to EB-1 and EB-2 due to higher demand.

3.1 EB-3(a): Skilled Workers For individuals with at least two years of job experience or training.

3.2 EB-3(b): Professionals For individuals with a U.S. baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalent who are members of a profession.

3.3 EB-3(c): Other Workers Includes individuals performing unskilled labor requiring less than two years of training or experience.

EB-4: Special Immigrants

Reserved for “special immigrants” such as religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, retired employees of international organizations, and others.

EB-5: Immigrant Investors

Foreign investors invest a significant amount in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S., creating or preserving jobs for qualifying U.S. workers.

The Green Card Application Process The process for obtaining an employer-sponsored green card involves several steps, with variations depending on the green card category and the applicant’s location.

  1. PERM Labor Certification: Obtaining certification from the Department of Labor verifying the need for a foreign worker.
  2. Filing Form I-140: The employer files an immigrant petition with USCIS.
  3. Applying for the Green Card: The foreign worker applies for a green card through Adjustment of Status (AOS) or Consular Processing.


Employer-sponsored green cards provide a crucial avenue for foreign professionals to obtain permanent residency in the U.S. Understanding the different categories and their requirements is essential for a successful application. Seeking professional guidance can facilitate navigating the complexities of the U.S. immigration system, ensuring informed decisions on the pathway to a U.S. green card.

Leave a Comment