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Lorenzo Law Group

EB visa categories, your pathway to business immigration

EB visa categories, your pathway to business immigration

EB visas are an attractive and coveted option for US immigrants who wish to live and work in the United States.

That’s because—unlike temporary work visas—they grant permanent residency (green cards) after arrival in the United States.

There are five main categories of EB visas:

  • EB-1 (Exceptional ability)
  • EB-2 (Advanced degree or exceptional ability)
  • EB-3 (Skilled, professional, or other workers)
  • EB-4 (Special immigrants)
  • EB-5 (Investors)

While many immigrants start their journey to the US on an EB visa, it’s also possible to convert non-immigrant employment visas like H-1B, L-1 or P visas to EB visas/green cards.

EB-1 (Exceptional ability)

EB-1 visas are a first preference visa given for employment purposes to foreign nationals with exceptional ability in their given field.

These fields could be arts, sciences, athletics, education, or business.

Applicants must submit evidence of “international or national acclaim” for their visa to be approved.

EB-1 visas also have three subcategories:

  • EB-1a: Catch-all category for extraordinary ability
  • EB-1b: Outstanding professor or researcher
  • EB-1c: Managers and executives of multinational companies

EB-1 visas have among the highest requirements out of all employment based visas, and because they are given such high priority, your employers aren’t required to submit a PERM application.

EB-2 (Advanced degree or exceptional ability)

EB-2 visas are usually given to foreign nationals who possess either a graduate degree or exceptional talent in a given field.

EB-2 visa applications also have an option for a National Interest Waiver (NIW), which exempts immigrants from the Labor Certification and PERM application aspect of immigrating.

EB-3 (Skilled, professional, or other workers)

EB-3 visa requirements are less demanding than the previous two visa categories.

The downside of EB-3 visa applications is that wait times are usually longer.

EB-3s are given to immigrants in the following categories:

  • Skilled: Two years of job training, experience or work education
  • Professional: Baccalaureate degree, or local equivalent
  • Other: In certain cases, less than two years of experience or training (excludes seasonal and temporary jobs)

EB-3 visas are limited (40,000 per year), and employers of EB-3 applicants must undergo the PERM labor application.

EB-4 (Special immigrants)

The EB-4 visa is designed for special immigration cases that don’t fall under other categories.

Although the definition seems broad, the EB-4 immigration visa is usually given to religious workers, workers in the armed forces or foreign service, or doctors.

Only 10,000 EB-4 visas are given every year.

EB-5 (Investors)

For foreign investors looking to make a large investment in US companies, the EB-5 visa may be the right choice.

Some options for EB-5 investments are either failing companies or new companies.

Investments may go toward a wide array of industries, including:

  • Agriculture
  • Medical facilities
  • Manufacturing
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Stadiums
  • Casinos
  • Real estate development

Like EB-1 and EB-2 visas, EB-5 visas are usually processed on the faster end of the spectrum. You also won’t need a PERM application.

What’s the best employment visa/green card?

All EB category visas are considered “immigration” visas, meaning you’re eligible for a green card after arriving in the United States.

They also allow your family to join you as permanent residents (spouse and children).

If you’re not sure which visa offers you the best opportunity to live and work in the United States, we’re here to help. Contact Lorenzo Law Group right now for a free consultation, and let’s make your American Dream a reality.


Hi I'm Carlos Lorenzo, owner and lead attorney at Lorenzo Law Group. Immigration applications are tough, exhausting and confusing. Which is why I started this firm. We'll handle your case quickly, affordably, and accurately from start to finish. Reach out today and let's get to work.

*The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.

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