The United States of America is the land of opportunity. Generation after generation, people from all around the world immigrate here for a fresh start and a chance to live the American Dream. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, nearly one million individuals gain lawful permanent resident status each year. The first step in obtaining this status is to apply for an immigrant visa. This document is issued by a U.S. consular officer and gives you the ability to travel to the United States and to apply for the lawful permanent resident status. There are several types of immigration visas, and knowing which one you are eligible for is important. Here is a brief overview of the different types of immigration visas to get you started.

Family-Based Immigrant Visas
One of the most common ways to obtain an immigration visa is to have a relative sponsor you. This sponsor must demonstrate that they have the financial security to fully support you once you arrive in the country. There are several steps that both you and your sponsor must take before this type of visa will be granted. We are intimately familiar with this process and can guide both of you through the necessary steps.

Employment-Based Immigrant Visas
These type of visas are split into five distinct categories. Each category is assigned a different priority level, with E1 being the highest preference, and E5 being the lowest preference.

  • Priority Workers (E1)
    This category includes three different groups of workers: people with extraordinary abilities (no job offer required), accomplished professors and researchers (seeking tenure or a comparable research position), and multinational executives (with a job offer).
  • Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability (E2)
    Candidates for an E2 visa must fall into one of two categories. Both E2 categories require a job offer and certain actions taken by your prospective employers. They must either be a professional with an advanced degree, or a person with an exceptional ability.
  • Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (E3)
    The E3 category consists of the three distinct subgroups listed in its title. These workers must have a job offer and an approved “Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker” must be filed by their potential employer.
  • Certain Special Immigrants (E4)
    There are nineteen different subgroups that make up the E4 category. We can help you determine if you qualify for this relatively rare type of visa
  • Immigrant Investors (E5)
    Certain capital investors may be eligible for an employment visa if their investment leads to job creation.

Special Immigrant Visas
Certain Iraqis or Afghans who were employed by the United States Government may be eligible for this type of visa.

Diversity Visa
From the beginning, America has been know as the great melting pot. Continuing that legacy is the main goal of the Diversity Visa program. This type of visa is exclusively available to prospective immigrants from countries whose citizens don’t often emigrate to America. We can help you determine if you fall into this category.

As you can see, the process for obtaining an immigrant visa is complex. To make sure you get it right, consider seeking attorney services in Fort Lee to help you navigate the process. Give us a call today to schedule your free consultation.