Alice Vacek Aranda
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What is are employment-based immigrant visas?

Coming to work in the United States on an employment-based immigrant visa is one way that some people choose to enter the country. For people who have skills that are valuable to the workforce, this is sometimes a viable option. These visas are made available each year. From the beginning of October through the end of September, around 140,000 of these visas are made available. Anyone who is interested in these visas might like to get some answers to basic questions.

Can my family come with me?

In some cases, children and spouses are allowed to come to the U.S. with a person on an employment-based visa. It is also possible for some spouses and children to come to the U.S. after the worker. Because of the various regulations surrounding these situations, checking with someone familiar with those regulations regarding your specific case might give you a better idea for your situation.

What are categories of immigrant visas?

There are five categories of visas. The First Preference group includes people with extraordinary abilities, some researchers, some professors, managers and executives. This category receives 28.6 percent of the visas issued each year.

The Second Preference group includes professionals with an advanced degree and those who have exceptional abilities. A job offer from a qualified business is required for people in this group. This group also receives 28.6 percent of visas.

The Third Preference group is reserved for skilled workers, professionals and unskilled workers. As with the previous two groups, this one also receives 28.6 percent of the visas. There are various requirements for workers in this group, such as needed labor certifications from the Department of Labor.

The Fourth Preference group is for special immigrants. Broadcasters, ministers and people who meet specific requirements or demographics fall into this group. It accounts for only 7.1 percent of employment visas.

The Fifth Preference group is for investors. In order to qualify for this type of visa, the investor must create jobs in the U.S.

Understanding which visa to apply for and what the requirements are for that visa are imperative for any immigrant. For people who are coming to Arizona, making sure you have everything in order prior to making the trip is vital.

Source: U.S. Department of State, "Employment-Based Immigrant Visa" Sep. 13, 2014

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