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Overview: Employment-Based Immigration.

This is an overview of the current law applying to applications for permanent residence in the U.S. based upon employment or business purposes.

There are five basic types of business immigrant visas. All categories are limited by annual levels and per-country levels. These immigrants become permanent residents and obtain the indefinite right to live and work in the United States, as long as they do not commit any offense that would render them deportable.

Business immigrants usually are sponsored by a U.S. employer based on a demonstrated need. Some business immigrants may self-petition if they meet statutory criteria for extraordinary ability in their field, or if their entry would be in the national interest.

Most business immigrant cases require Department of Labor certification that no U.S. workers are able, qualified or willing to take the position offered to the foreign national and that admitting the immigrant will not negatively impact the wages and working conditions of similarly situated U.S. workers. The only categories exempt from this requirement are those for individuals who are extraordinary or outstanding in their field or whose presence is in the national interest.