Immigration Attorneys Working Tirelessly as Your Advocate in Obtaining Your EB-4 Visa
There are so many options that exist for visas that if you aren’t familiar with them, they can make your head spin. Which visa is best for you? What does it take to qualify? How long will it take to obtain? All of these questions and more information can be found below. If you are a religious worker or have a religious occupation, this may be the best category for you, although it also covers other types.
I have worked with countless clients over the years to achieve their dreams of permanent residency in the US. Working on several cases has given me a unique perspective on when to be patient and move quickly to be efficient. Contact me at 407-499-5680 to discuss your specific questions. I have a vast knowledge of several visas and can help you to determine if the EB-4 is the best option for you and put together a plan so you will know what to expect moving forward.
What is the EB-4 Visa?
The EB-4 category of visas is unique in that it covers several types, from religious workers to NATO employees. Religious workers such as rabbis, ministers, monks, broadcasters, translators, armed forces members, and more. Some EB-4 visa candidates also called “special immigrants,” have no connection to employment or work.
Some of the appealing characteristics of the EB-4 is that once approved, eligible people can work, travel, live, and study freely in the US. Also, after living in the US with an EB-4 visa for more than five years, you are eligible to apply for citizenship. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 are also eligible to live, work, and study in the US with approved status.
Who Qualifies for the EB-4 Visa?
This category is vast and has multiple industries involved that can be approved for the EB-4 visa. Below is a list and a brief summary of some of those eligible to apply for an EB-4.
- Religious workers-this can be ministers, rabbis, priests, salaried monks, ordained deacons, and more. Some of the qualifications for a religious worker are that the applicant has formal recognition from a qualified religion with which they have been affiliated for at least the past two years. Other religious workers may also qualify, including missionaries, religious instructors, or counselors, regardless of religious denomination.
- Broadcasters such as reporters, writers, editors, and producers who are coming to the US to work for the United States Agency for Global Media are also considered.
- Translators or interpreters from Iraq and Afghanistan who have worked with the US Armed Forces or were employed by or on behalf of the US government are eligible in most cases.
- Members of the US Armed Forces, Panama Canal Company, or Panama Canal Zone employees are also eligible.
- Some employees of the US Government who are abroad, as well as their families, are commonly eligible.
- NATO Employees, their spouses or children, as well as the family of a deceased NATO employee, are also eligible.
- Each of these categories will have a specific list of items that must be present for the applicant to qualify. It can be challenging to assess whether or not you are eligible based on your qualifications. You can work with an experienced immigration law attorney to help you determine your options and gather the necessary documentation to prove that your qualifications will suffice.
For instance, religious workers must provide evidence that they have worked with the same religious vocation for at least the last two years and were employed continuously during their religious occupation. They must also prove that they intend to come to the US primarily to work at least 35 hours weekly for that same religious denomination. Most of the categories listed above will have specific guidelines that will need to be followed to determine eligibility.
How Do I Apply/Petition?
The employer planning to employ the applicant will need to file a petition. They will require approval from USCIS to hire a foreign employee. They will follow a process that includes filling out forms and providing any additional evidence necessary, such as financial statements, tax returns, or other supporting documents.
In some cases, foreign employees may petition themselves for approval. There are specific instances where this would apply, and you must be prepared to provide all supporting documents.
If the applicant falls under the broadcaster category, the petition would be submitted by the BBG or the Broadcasting Board of Governors, and it is up to them to comply with the requirements.
Once the USCIS has had adequate time to process the petition, they will notify the applicant of their decision. If approved, the application will move onto the National Visa Center, which will assign a case number and send information to the foreign employee with further instructions. There is a cap on the number of applicants that can be processed or visas available, so if the cap has been reached, there may be a delay in this part of the process. The priority date must also be current. In some countries, this can take a year or two; in others, it can mean that the applicant will wait for up to ten years or more for their priority date to become current.
Why Do I Need an EB-4 Visa Lawyer?
The process of obtaining any visa can be complex and time-consuming. There are ways in which to make the process feel less overwhelming if you have an idea of the facts and the process. Working with an experienced immigration lawyer with a vast knowledge of multiple cases can provide valuable insight into the process and help you understand what is necessary to achieve the outcome you are hoping for.
I have worked with countless applicants over the years in obtaining their visas. I can help you assess whether the EB-4 is best for you based on your qualifications and help you navigate the immigration services process. I am an experienced EB-4 visa lawyer, and I look forward to assisting you. Contact me today at 407-499-5680 to get the process started.