EB4 Visa Application Process
As of 2018, immigrants participate in the US labor force more than the citizens. The overall rate is 65.2%, which is higher than the 62.3% participation rate of those born in America, says an article by the National Immigration Forum. Immigrants play a vital role in the US workforce and economy, such that by 2035, growth in the US workforce will largely depend on immigrants.
However, to be able to work in the US as an immigrant, you will need to apply for an EB4 visa.
What is an EB4 Visa?
The employment based fourth preference EB4 visa is a green card, granted to foreign nationals who qualify to work for religious organizations in the United States. You will need to qualify as a special immigrant, under the US Citizenship and Immigration Services special immigrant program.
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EB4 Application Process
The application process involves both the US employer and the foreign employee. The employer is required to file a petition for the employee with the USCIS via the Form I-360. This can be done online. If the application is approved, the foreign employee will need to apply for the visa at the nearest US embassy or consulate in their home country.
In some cases, you can file the petition on your own and get the form reviewed by the USCIS to confirm whether you are eligible for the visa. Also, if you are a broadcaster, your petition needs to be submitted by the US Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). You will need to be associated with media work and not have a support role with the BBG.
After the employer submits the petition, the USCIS processes it and decides whether the visa should be granted. If approved, further processing is carried out by the National Visa Center. In case the petition is denied, the US employer will not be allowed to hire a foreign employee and the employee will be debarred from getting the visa.
After your visa application has been approved by the USCIS, you can proceed with the rest of the application process by filling up Form DS-261 online, by feeding in your case number.
Documents Required for Application
After Form DS-261 is approved, the following documents need to be submitted:
- A passport with 6 months validity beyond your intended date of departure from the US
- Offer letter from your employer
- Approved petition from the USCIS
- Medical documents
- Two passport-size recent photographs
- All academic certificates and degrees
- Your CV or résumé
After the documents are verified by the NVC, a visa interview will be scheduled at the embassy you are applying from. The decision of the US official conducting the interview is final regarding your visa.
Entitled Benefits of an EB4 Visa Holder
Before applying for the EB4 visa, you should know that you are entitled to government assistance and a few benefits, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Food Assistant Programs (FAP), State Funded Resettlement Programs and other programs.
Remember that the visas are processed in chronological order and often takes quite a long time, anywhere between one and four years. The USCIS and NVC will notify you once your application starts being processed.
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