Planning to Work and Live in New York? Here’s How to Acquire a Permanent Work Visa

How to acquire permanent work visa in the United States is among the most often asked questions as millions of individuals from around the world continue to aspire to fulfill that American dream. Every year, there are about 140,000 immigrant visas available for aliens and to a certain extent, their spouses and children. All it takes to acquire a permanent working visa is the right mix of skills, education and relevant work experience. This simple combination could be your key to acquiring a permanent working visa and residence in New York, the famous City that never sleeps, or in any other part of the United States. To help you better understand the complex areas of immigration and visa application, it is best to consult one of our experienced New York immigration lawyers.

It is very vital to your application to know which visa category applies to your case:

  • First Preference (EB-1)

EB-1 visa is an employment-based, first preference visa reserved for individuals of extraordinary ability in various fields such as sciences, arts, education, business or athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; and multinational executives and managers.

There are 10 listed criteria for demonstrating extraordinary ability. The applicants must satisfy at least 3 of these criteria:

  1. Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prize or awards for excellence.

  2. Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members.

  3. Evidence of published materials about you in professional or major publications or other major media.

  4. Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel.

  5. Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field.

  6. Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media.

  7. Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases.

  8. Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations.

  9. Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field.

  10. Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts.


To validate that the applicant is an outstanding professor or researcher, the following are examples of documentary evidence that may be submitted:

  1. Evidence of receipt of major prize or awards for outstanding achievement.

  2. Evidence of membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement.

  3. Evidence of published materials in professional publications written by others about the alien’s work in the academic field.

  4. Evidence of participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same field or allied academic field.

  5. Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field.

  6. Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field.


  • Second Preference (EB-2)

EB-2 visa is reserved for persons who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or for persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences or business. For those who believes that they qualify in this criteria, a labor certification must be presented unless the applicant can produce a national interest waiver.

Some of the criteria for this category, includes:

  1. Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate or similar awards from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability.

  2. Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your profession.

  3. A license to practice your profession or a certification for your profession or occupation.

  4. Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability.

  5. Membership in a professional association(s)

  6. Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations.

  7. Other comparable evidence of eligibility is acceptable.


  • Third Preference (EB-3)

EB-3 visa is reserved for professionals, skilled workers and other types of workers. For this category, a labor certification is required.

Skilled workers are persons whose job requires a minimum of 2 years training or work experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature. Professionals are persons whose job requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent and are a member of other professionals. Other workers subcategory is for persons performing unskilled labor requiring less than 2 years training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature.

  • Fourth Preference (EB-4)

EB-4 visa  is reserved for “special immigrants.” Special immigrants includes certain

religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, retired employees of international organizations, alien minors who are wards of courts in the United States, and other classes of aliens.

No labor certification required for this category.

Religious visa requires that the applicant must prove that:

  1. they are a member of a religious denomination for at least 2 years

  2. will work at a qualified organization

  3. as a minister (or religious professional, or those in another religious vocation who will continue to be eligible until this program expires on September 30, 2012, unless it is reinstated).


  • Fifth Preference (EB-5)

Under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, foreign investors can get conditional visas that will allow them and their families to live, work and attend school in the United States if they invest $1 million in a new or recently created business, or $500,000 for business in rural or high unemployment areas. If the investor was able to demonstrate to have created or preserved at least 10 full time jobs for  U.S. workers within two (2) years , the investors and their families graduate to permanent resident status and can apply for full citizenship three years later. This category, too, does not require labor certification.

A clear understanding of what category you belong to, backed by the proper skills, education and work experience is your answer on how to acquire permanent work visa in the United States. It also helps if you sought the assistance of reputable law firms to help and assist you in processing your applications. Niren and Associates, one of the most trusted Immigration Law Firms, with offices in New York, Los Angeles and in 9 other major cities, can assist and guide you step-by-step in acquiring your permanent work visa. The experienced team of  New York Immigration Lawyers can be reached at (212) 380-7808. You may also use the form on the right to drop us a message about your immigration issues.

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Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

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