Immigration & Criminal Defense Attorneys


Certain Special Immigrant Category of Employment-Based Visas

The eligibility requirements for the first three categories of immigrant employment visas, the EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3, are relatively broad and general. Such visas are available to foreign workers who possess “extraordinary ability,” who hold advanced degrees, or who are “skilled workers.” The qualifications for an EB-4 visa, in contrast, are anything but general. Instead, the certain special immigrant category is something of a catch-all, covering a wide variety of different types of immigrant workers, each one of which is highly specific in its requirements. Some of the subcategories of eligible applicants for the EB-4 visa include:

  • Broadcasters employed in the U.S. by the International Broadcasting Bureau of the Broadcasting Board of Governors
  • Religious ministers
  • Certain employees or former employees of the U.S. government abroad
  • Nationals of Iraq and Afghanistan who have provided faithful and valuable service while employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in those countries under qualifying circumstances
  • Certain retired international organization employees, as well as their surviving spouses and unmarried children
  • Panama Canal Zone employees
  • Retired NATO-6 employees, as well as their surviving spouses and children
  • Physicians
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces

Out of the total of approximately 140,000 employment-based immigration visas available every year, only 7.1 percent are allotted to the EB-4 category. Fortunately, labor certification is not required for this type of visa, a fact that potentially makes it easier for a U.S. employer to hire a foreign national in this category. Before the prospective employee may apply for the visa, however, the employer must submit a sponsorship petition. In most cases, this is the Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant.

Speak with a Salt Lake City Immigration Attorney

The Salt Lake City immigration attorneys at Keen Law Offices, LLC have 11 years of experience navigating the complexities of the U.S. immigration legal system, and we assist both employers and foreign nationals with the application process. Contact our firm now to learn whether you may be eligible for an EB-4 visa and to take the first steps in your case.