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Employment-based Preference Categories For Foreign Medical Professionals Seeking Green Cards

Posted by Ann Badmus | Apr 02, 2013 | 0 Comments

Approximately 140,000 employment-based Green Cards are made available to qualified applicants every fiscal year (October 1st – September 30th). If you are a foreign medical graduate working in the United States, there are three employment-based preference categories in which you may qualify to obtain a Green Card:

Employment-Based First Preference (EB-1)

  • Individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business and athletics (persons who have risen to the top of their profession);
  • Outstanding professors and researchers;
  • Multi-national executives and managers.

Employment-Based Second Preference (EB-2)

  • Members of professions holding advanced degrees (Master's or Ph.D.) It is important to point out that the degree requirements of the position determine EB-2, not the degree held by the individual;
  • Persons of exceptional ability in the sciences, art or business. Persons of exceptional ability are those who have a degree of expertise above that which is ordinarily expected.

Employment-Based Third Preference (EB-3)

  • Professionals and skilled workers (bachelor's degree or two years of training, post-secondary education, or experience) and
  • Unskilled workers requiring no specific training, education, or experience.

Individuals with extraordinary abilities in the EB-1 preference category and those who apply for the national interest waiver of labor certification in the EB-2 category are able to file their own Green Card petitions. To be considered for a Green Card under EB-2 and EB-3, an individual's prospective employer must first obtain a labor certification approval from the Department of Labor. Our next article will discuss this process.

About the Author

Ann Badmus

Principal and Managing Attorney


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