EB-4 Visa

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What is an EB-4 visa?

The EB-4 Special Immigrant Workers visa allows foreign nationals who are members of particular organizations or belong to a specific group of individuals to enter the United States and obtain permanent residency.The list includes-

  • Religious workers;
  • Special Immigrant Juveniles;
  • Certain broadcasters;
  • Certain retired officers or employees of a G-4 international organization or NATO-6 civilian employees and their family members;
  • Certain employees of the U.S. government who are abroad and their family members;
  • Members of the U.S. armed forces;
  • Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone government employees;
  • Certain physicians licensed and practicing medicine in a U.S. state as of Jan. 9, 1978;
  • Afghan or Iraqi translators or interpreters;
  • Iraqis who were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government; and
  • Afghans employed by the U.S. government or International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)

What are the requirements for the EB-4 visa?

To get an EB-4 visa –

  • The beneficiary must have a valid and permanent job offer from a U.S. employer. The offer must not be seasonal or part-time.
  • The beneficiary must have a job position that is related to the field of expertise. Job offers from employers outside their field of expertise do not qualify.

Certain requirements need to be adhered to by the employer in the U.S. as well. In order to hire a foreign worker, the U.S. employer must show that they are financially able to be able to hire the foreign worker. Beneficiaries and employers who are unable to meet these requirements cannot apply for an EB-4 visa or hire EB-4 visa applicants, respectively.

How to apply for the EB-4 visa?

The application process for the EB-4 visa is divided into two parts involving both the U.S. employer and foreign employee:

  • The U.S. employer must petition the USCIS for the foreign employee.
  • After receiving permission, the foreign employee must apply for an EB-4 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country. If the person is already in the United States in a valid status, they can also file for Adjustment of Status without having to leave the country as opposed to filing for a Visa at the Consulate.

Filing the I-360 petition

The U.S. employer will have to get the approval of USCIS before hiring a foreign employee. This is done by filing Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. The form will include sections for the employer to complete and any required supporting papers, such as tax returns, audit documentation, or financial statements. There are, however, cases where a foreign employee may self-petition. In such cases, it’s crucial to check the paperwork and contact USCIS to determine eligibility. Additionally, if a broadcaster intends to apply for an EB-4 visa, the petition must be submitted by the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) or a BBG grantee. The broadcaster must be involved in media work and not work for the BBG in a technical or support capacity.

USCIS will process the petition when the employer files it and notify them of their decision. The case will be sent to the National Visa Center if it is approved (NVC). If the application is denied, the U.S. employer will be unable to hire a foreign worker, and the employee will be unable to obtain an EB-4 visa. The NVC will assign a case number and an invoice I.D. number when they receive the case. Then they’ll send a package to the foreign employee’s home country, complete with instructions and application documents.The EB-4 visa has a cap; thus, filing for an I-485 or approval for a visa at the consulate can happen if the applicant’s priority date is current.

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Filing for an Immigrant Visa if the person is outside the country

File Form DS-261, Choice of Address and Agent

Form DS-261 will be filled out online by the foreign employee or applicant. The form is the initial visa application, and the applicant can access it by entering the case number. The applicant must fill out all needed fields. After submitting the application, the beneficiary will receive a confirmation page with a number.

Complete medical examination and vaccination

The beneficiary will also find information about medical exams and vaccines he/she will need before visiting the United States in the NVC packet. One must get the examinations done by a registered doctor and take the necessary vaccines. The doctor must sign the medical documents and attach them to the supporting documentation.

Compile a file of supporting documents

Once the NVC approves the Form DS-261, the applicant must send the supporting documents for the case. This includes the following:

  • A passport that is valid for more than 6 months after the intended departure to the U.S.
  • An employment offer from the U.S. employer
  • An approved petition
  • The DS-261 confirmation page
  • Signed vaccine and medical documents
  • Two photographs meeting the Photo Requirements for the U.S. Visa application
  • Diplomas and certificates as a proof of academic achievements
  • CV or resume
  • Court and criminal records

Depending on the case, the NVC might require other supporting documents as well.

Attend the visa interview

NVC will check your supporting documents and, if no additional information is required, will set up a visa interview for you. The visa interview will take place at the embassy or consulate of the United States where you are applying. The questions will be mostly on your background and your reasons for immigrating to the U.S.

Receive the NVC package and travel to the U.S.

The EB-4 visa will be granted based on the decision of the U.S. official conducting the interview. On acceptance, the beneficiary will receive another NVC package. However, applicants are not permitted to open it under any circumstances. It must be brought to the United States and must only be opened by an official at any U.S. port of entry. After reviewing the documentation, the immigration official who receives the package decides whether the beneficiary is authorized to enter the country.

The Law Offices of Prashanthi Reddy, PLLC, can help you timely file your EB-4 visa application. Because of the extensive more, it is apparent for one to forget a thing or the other while proceeding with the application. So it’s advisable to have our experienced immigration attorneys by your side. For more information, contact The Law Offices of Prashanthi Reddy at prashanthi@reddyesq.com or by calling 212-354-1010.

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