Chapter 1 - Purpose and Background

A. Purpose

Congress provided several classifications for employment-based immigration to allow a limited number of noncitizens to become lawful permanent residents (LPRs) based on certain skillsets.

B. Background

For a person to immigrate on an employment basis, his or her employer or intending employer must file a petition for an employment-based immigrant classification using a Petition for Alien Workers (Form I-140). The petitioning employer must demonstrate to USCIS that the beneficiary is qualified for the immigrant classification sought.[1]

If the petition is based on an underlying approved permanent labor certification application, then the immigrant petition must be filed during the validity period of the permanent labor certification established by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The petitioner must demonstrate that the beneficiary is qualified for the position certified by DOL. Not all employment-based immigrant classifications require the petitioner to first obtain permanent labor certification. In addition, in certain classifications, the beneficiary can self-petition for the classification sought.

This Part E provides general information relating to employment-based immigrant petitions. Part F provides a more detailed discussion of the specific immigrant classifications.[2]

Visa Classifications

The following table lists the categories of employment-based immigrant visa classifications, the corresponding codes of admission, and where to find additional guidance about the classifications.

Employment-Based Visa Classifications

Employment-Based Immigrant

Code of Admission

For More Information

Person of Extraordinary Ability

E11

Part F, Employment-Based Classifications, Chapter 2, Extraordinary Ability [6 USCIS-PM F.2]

Outstanding Professor

Outstanding Researcher

E12

See Part F, Employment-Based Classifications, Chapter 3, Outstanding Professor or Researcher [6 USCIS-PM F.3]

Multinational Executive

Multinational Manager

E13

See Part F, Employment-Based Classifications, Chapter 4, Multinational Executive or Manager [6 USCIS-PM F.4]

Professional Holding Advanced Degree

Person of Exceptional Ability

E21

See Part F, Employment-Based Classifications, Chapter 5, Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability [6 USCIS-PM F.5] and Chapter 6, Physician [6 USCIS-PM F.6]

Skilled Worker

E31

See Part F, Employment-Based Classifications, Chapter 7, Skilled Worker, Professional, or Other Worker [6 USCIS-PM F.7]

Professional Holding Baccalaureate Degree

E32

See Part F, Employment-Based Classifications, Chapter 7, Skilled Worker, Professional, or Other Worker [6 USCIS-PM F.7]

Other Worker

EW3

See Part F, Employment-Based Classifications, Chapter 7, Skilled Worker, Professional, or Other Worker [6 USCIS-PM F.7]

C. Legal Authorities

  • INA 203(b)(1), (2), (3) – Preference allocation for employment-based immigrants

  • 8 CFR 204.5 – Petitions for employment-based immigrants

  • 20 CFR 656 – Labor certification process for permanent employment of aliens in the United States

Footnotes


[^ 1] This Part generally uses the simplified terms petition, petitioner, and beneficiary. The term petition refers to the Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers (Form I-140). The term petitioner generally refers to the petitioning employer, though in some circumstances the petitioner may be a self-petitioning noncitizen. The term beneficiary refers to the noncitizen who is the beneficiary of the petition, who in some cases may also be a self-petitioner.

[^ 2] See Part F, Employment-Based Classifications [6 USCIS-PM F].

Current as of July 26, 2021