Each financial year, about 140,000 immigrant visas are available for noncitizens (and their wives and children) who want to come to the United States because of their job abilities. You might be eligible to live permanently in the United States if you have the necessary combination of education, skills, and work experience and are otherwise eligible. The five immigrant visa preferences (categories) based on employment are shown below.

Certification of Labours

Some immigrant visa options require you to have a job offer from a company in the United States. This company will serve as your sponsor. Before submitting an immigration petition to USCIS for specific visa categories, the employer must first get an approved labour certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The Department of Labor validates the following:

There are insufficiently available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers to fill the employment being offered at the prevailing pay.

See the Labor Certification website for further information:

Federal Tax Information in the United States

Noncitizens who work in the United States may owe taxes in the United States

  • Immigrants who live in the United States are taxed
  • New Immigrant Tax Information and Responsibilities

Permanent Worker Visa Preference Categories


General Description

Labor Certification Required?

First Preference EB-1

This preference is booked for persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; extraordinary capable professors or researchers; and multinational executives and managers.


Second Preference EB-2

This priority is offered to members of the professions who have earned advanced degrees or who have demonstrated remarkable talent in the arts, sciences, or business.

Yes, unless the petitioner can secure a waiver in the national interest (Labor Certification)

Third Preference EB-3

Professionals, skilled workers, and other workers are given first priority. (For a more detailed definition of these employment classes, see the Third Preference EB-3 page.)


Fourth Preference EB-4

This priority is reserved for “special immigrants,” which include religious workers, employees of US foreign service posts, retired international organization employees, noncitizen minors who are property of US courts, and other noncitizens.


Fifth Preference EB-5

This preference is booked for corporate investors that invest $1.8 million in a new commercial firm that employs at least 10 full-time U.S. workers, or $900,000 (if the investment is made in a targeted employment area).


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