Permanent Visas for Foreign Workers

A Green Card holder (permanent resident) is someone who has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. As proof of that status, a person is granted a permanent resident card, commonly called a “Green Card.” One can become a permanent resident in several different ways. Most individuals are sponsored by a family member or employer in the United States. Other individuals may become permanent residents through refugee or asylee status or other humanitarian programs. In some cases, a person may be eligible to file for himself or herself.

The employment-based (EB) visa is granted to foreign workers whose employer prefers to hire them permanently in the United States. Categories within the EB depend on a combination of skills, education, and/or work experience. The categories are EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4, and EB-5. If the services rendered by these individuals benefit the national interest, the labor certification may be waived.

The steps to becoming a Green Card holder (permanent resident) vary by category and depend on whether the foreign worker currently lives inside or outside the United States.