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Dinsmore | Immigration
Dinsmore immigration attorneys leverage more than 130 years of cumulative experience to craft strategies and solutions to meet unique immigration needs. We anticipate the areas where the U.S. government may challenge a case, reverse engineer the case to lower the risk of denial, and increase the odds of approval. 

We use leading web-based technology for case management, so your immigration coordinator, managers, and employees can access appropriate case information on a 24/7 basis.

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Immigrant Visas

What is an Immigrant Visa?

Immigrant Visa categories convey eligibility for permanent residence, or a "Green Card," to foreign nationals. Once a foreign national is approved for an Immigrant Visa category, the foreign national may apply for permanent residence through adjustment of status or by applying for an Immigrant Visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad. There are generally four paths to permanent residence:

  1. Through sponsorship by a family member;
  2. Through employment;
  3. Through a claim of asylee or refugee status; or
  4. By participation in the annual diversity visa lottery.

For a general summary of these categories, please click here.

Employment Based Immigrant Visa Categories

There are five employment based immigrant categories:

  1. The first employment based category, known as the EB-1 category, includes foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business, or athleticsoutstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational managers and executives;
  2. The second employment based category, known as the EB-2 category, includes advanced degree professionals and persons with "exceptional ability," including foreign nationals holding Masters or Doctoral degrees, or the equivalent. The EB-2 category also includes foreign nationals who have exceptional ability in sciences, art, or business and will substantially benefit the U.S.;
  3. The third employment based program known as the EB-3 category, includes Skilled Workers (at least 2 years' training, experience, education), Basic Degree Professionals, and Other Workers (less than 2 years' training or experience);
  4. The fourth immigrant category, known as EB-4, includes special immigrants such as religious ministers and certain other religious workers, certain U.S. government employees abroad, certain international organization employees, and certain Panama Canal Zone employees;
  5. The fifth immigrant category, known as the EB-5 category, includes employment creation investors. To be eligible under this category, a foreign national must invest a minimum of $1 million in capital in commercial enterprise (or $500,000 in a "targeted area") and employ 10 or more full-time U.S. workers.

To find out how employment termination or layoff impacts the permanent residence process in employment-based cases, please click here.

Labor Certification

Within the employment-based categories, some categories require that a labor market test be conducted in connection with the filing of an Application for Labor Certification with the U.S. Department of Labor. Other categories are exempt from this labor market requirement. For a comparison of the immigrant visa options that are exempt from the labor certification requirement, please click here. Please select a title below for more information on labor certification or labor certification exemption.

Adjustment of Status vs. Consular Processing

The last stage of the Immigrant Visa process is to apply for either adjustment of status to permanent resident in the U.S. or to apply for an Immigrant Visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad (known as Consular Processing). Both options have advantages and disadvantages depending on an individual's circumstances. For more information, please select a title below.


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