3 Levels of Immigrant Worker Preference Categories

If you’re an immigrant in the United States, you might be interested in getting a green card. If that’s the case, there are eight different categories of eligibility for obtaining a green card.

A few notable green card options are through family relations, special immigrant status and refugee and asylum status. But one pathway to getting a green card that might be most appropriate for you is through employment.

Getting a Green Card Through Employment

Immigrants are a big part of the Texas economy. According to the American Immigration Council, one in five workers in Texas is an immigrant, and 3.1 million immigrant workers comprised 22 percent of the Texas labor force in 2018.

Many immigrants obtain their permanent residency through employment. However, the process isn’t as simple as going to the local courthouse, telling them you have a job and then getting handed a green card.

The type of employment (or the employment potential) you have, makes a big difference in your green card opportunity. There are “preference” categories that determine your priority level in getting permanent residency.

First Preference (a.k.a. Priority) worker status is reserved for people who have extraordinary abilities or those who are outstanding in their fields.

The parameters for meeting this category are prestigious and rigid, which means immigrants who meet this level will be the first to receive a green card. You can learn about eligibility requirements here.

Second Preference worker status is for those who have advanced degrees or have exceptional abilities. “Advanced degrees” can be a confusing term because it could mean a master’s degree and higher, or it could be a bachelor’s degree plus five years of experience in the field.

To prove you have “exceptional ability,” you’ll need to meet three of seven criteria. Learn more about Second Preference eligibility here.

Third Preference worker status is for skilled workers, professionals and unskilled workers. This tier can include people who have a couple of years of experience in a trade (or the equivalent diploma/certificate), people who have a bachelor’s degree along with professional experience and those who can perform manual labor.

As you can see, Third Preference is a very broad category, so make sure to thoroughly read through the necessary information to make sure you align with its parameters.

Get Legal Counsel and Advice Regarding Green Card Eligibility

Whether you’re looking to obtain residency through a green card or another legal route, you need the guidance of an experienced lawyer. You can trust attorney Mark E. Jacobs to give you the best advice before you take the next step.

Ready to get started? Call us at 972-445-7577 for a free phone consultation or send us a message.

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