The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that eligible visa applicants should consider transferring their underlying basis to employment-based preference categories. This is due to twice the number of green card or employment visas (140,000 in all) in these categories available during the fiscal year 2022 (October 2021 through September 2022). The higher number of visas is due to unused family-sponsored visa numbers from fiscal 2021.
The priorities in the employment-based categories are:
- First (EB-1): Priority workers with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, business, arts, education or athletics. Candidates would be outstanding professors, researchers, managers, executives, and others.
- Second (EB-2): These applicants have advanced degrees or exceptional ability. They could also include requests for national waivers.
It should also be noted that any visas not required in the fifth employment-based category (EB-5), which is for investor immigrants, are made available to those in the first category. The unused visas in the first category would then also be available to those in the second category.
Third (EB-3) do not qualify
These applicants are generally skilled employees, professionals or workers. Unfortunately, those in the third category do not qualify because there are currently significant numbers of non-citizens in the second category. Also, legal statutes require second preference can only be used for the second preference category.