Immigrating to the United States can be a complex and confusing process. One of the ways that the U.S. government attempts to streamline the process is by prioritizing certain types of workers and their families through the immigration system. These individuals are known as “priority workers.” In this article, we will explore the different categories of priority workers, eligibility requirements, and the application process for obtaining a green card as a priority worker.
What are Priority Workers?
Priority workers are individuals who have exceptional abilities in fields such as the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics, or have outstanding records of achievement in the motion picture or television industry. High-demand skills in the United States and are seen as beneficial to the economy and society are why they are considered priority workers.
Eligibility for Priority Worker Status
There are three main categories of priority workers:
- Aliens with Extraordinary Ability: This category includes individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. These individuals must be able to provide documentation of their achievements and recognition in their field.
- Outstanding Professors and Researchers: This category includes individuals who have achieved international recognition for outstanding achievements in their field of expertise. They must also have at least three years of experience in teaching or research in their field, and be entering the United States to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education.
- The category of multinational executives and managers includes individuals who have held executive or managerial positions abroad. To fall under this category, individuals must have had employment in an executive or managerial capacity for at least one year in the past three years. Additionally, a transfer to the United States to work in the same capacity as a U.S. employer is necessary.
Application Process for Priority Workers Status
The application process for obtaining a green card for priority workers can be complex and time-consuming. It typically involves the following steps:
- Determine Eligibility: The first step is determining if you are eligible for priority worker status. This involves reviewing the criteria for the relevant category and gathering documentation to support your claim.
- File the Petition: Once you have determined that you are eligible, the next step is to file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.
- Wait for Approval: After your petition has been filed, you will need to wait for USCIS to review and approve it. The processing time for a petition can vary depending on the category and the workload of the USCIS office handling your case.
- Apply for a Green Card: If your petition is approved, the next step is to apply for a green card. This typically involves filling out Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
- Wait for Approval: After your application has been submitted, you will need to wait for USCIS to review and approve it. The processing time for an application can vary depending on the category and the workload of the USCIS office handling your case.
Priority workers status is a valuable way for individuals with exceptional abilities in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics, or outstanding records of achievement in the motion picture or television industry, to immigrate to the United States. However, obtaining a green card as a priority worker can be complex and time-consuming. It’s important to understand the eligibility criteria and the application process to increase your chances of success.
It’s also important to note that being a priority worker does not guarantee a green card. The number of visas available for priority workers is limited and not all petitions or applications will be approved. However, meeting the criteria for one of the categories and providing all the necessary documentation increases the chances of approval.
It is best to have an immigration attorney assist with the process. Immigration laws are constantly changing, and professional guidance can help ensure proper preparation and submission of the petition or application.
Overall, priority workers’ status is a valuable opportunity for individuals with exceptional abilities and achievements to contribute to the United States economy and society. If you believe you may be eligible for priority worker status, it’s worth exploring the possibility and learning more about the application process.