Employment-based permanent residence

The Dallas, Frisco, and North Texas attorneys of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. also have a decades long history of representing companies and individuals in employment-based permanent residence cases. We are sensitive to both corporate and individual interests, and work diligently and efficiently to meet those needs in a cost-effective manner.

Employment-based immigration takes place entirely within the “preference” system. While some preference categories for some countries are “current,” meaning a visa is presently available, no employment-based categories are exempt from numerical limitations. With limited exceptions, immigrant visa petitions for Second and Third preference employment-based immigrants require an approved labor certification from the United States Department of Labor (DOL).

The employment-based preference system consists of the following categories:

Employment-based 1st Preference encompasses three subgroups – persons of extraordinary ability; outstanding professors and researchers; and multinational executives and managers. To qualify under the first subgroup, the person must have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, and his or her achievements must have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation. To qualify under the second subgroup, the person must be recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area. To qualify for the third subgroup, the person must have worked for a qualifying business abroad within specific window of time, and be seeking to worked for a qualifying related business in the U.S. in a capacity that is either executive or managerial.

Employment-based 2nd Preference encompasses two groups – members of the professions holding advanced degrees, and persons of exceptional ability. The second subgroup requires exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business, and a showing that the work of such an individual will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare of the United States. Some EB-2 advanced degree holders or persons of exceptional ability may be exempt from labor certification by reason of an approved national interest waiver of the job offer requirement. In support of a national interest waiver request, an applicant must show that he or she plans on working in the U.S. in an area of substantial intrinsic merit; that the proposed impact of his or her work is national in scope; and that waiving the labor certification requirement would benefit the national interests of the U.S.

Employment-based 3rd Preference encompasses three groups – professionals, skilled workers, and “other workers.” Professionals are defined as those who hold baccalaureate degrees and who are members of the professions. Skilled workers are those who perform skilled labor requiring at least two years of training or experience.

Employment-based 4th Preference consists of qualifying ministers and others who work in certain religious vocations or occupations.

At Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C., we have enormously enjoyed representing religious workers of diverse denominations including Catholic, Baptist, Episcopal, Christian Science, Jewish, Buddhist and others. We warmly welcome you to contact our office to schedule an evaluation of your or your prospective religious worker’s eligibility for U.S. immigration law benefits, whether immigrant (permanent) or nonimmigrant (temporary) status is desired. We look forward to being of service to those who are of such special service to others.

Special immigrant religious worker status is approvable for persons who for the two years immediately preceding the time of application for admission, have been a member of a religious denomination which has a bona fide nonprofit, religious denomination in the U.S., and who will work full-time in a qualifying position in the U.S. Denominational membership abroad must be the same religious denomination as that of the U.S. religious organization where the individual will work. The applicant must seek to enter the U.S. solely for the purpose of carrying on the vocation of a minister of that religious denomination; in order to work for the organization at the request of the organization in a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupation; or in order to work for the organization (or a bona fide organization which is affiliated with the religious denomination and is exempt from taxation ) at the request of the organization in a religious vocation or occupation.

Ministers must be fully authorized by the religious denomination and fully trained according to the denomination’s standards to conduct religious worship and perform other duties ordinarily performed by authorized members of the clergy of that organization. Religious occupations involve duties that relate to a traditional religious function, that primarily relate to carrying out the religious creed and beliefs of the denomination, and that are not primarily administrative or support duties. Religious vocations are those involving a formal lifetime commitment to a religious way of life, including nuns, monks, and religious brothers and sisters.

The prospective special immigrant religious worker must also have been carrying on the vocation, professional or other qualifying religious work continuously for at least the two-year period immediately preceding the time of application for admission to the U.S. By contrast, for R-1 nonimmigrant religious workers, it is only a two-year period of membership in the denomination that is required and not also a two-year period of previous qualifying employment.

Employment-based 5th Preference (also known as EB-5) is dedicated to immigrant investors. An approved EB-5 immigrant visa results in conditional permanent resident status for persons who invest $1,000,000 in a new commercial enterprise that will create not fewer than ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers. The qualifying investment in specially recognized “targeted employment areas” may be as low as $500,000. EB-5 status may also be granted for those investors who elect to go forward pursuant to a Pilot Program which allows for investments that are connected with designated Regional Centers. Investments in Regional Centers result in relaxation of the job creation requirement to include “indirect” in addition to “direct” creation of jobs. The conditional basis of lawful permanent resident status may be removed after two years.