In certain circumstances, workers can obtain green cards on the basis of their employment. The USCIS issues employment-based green cards based on knowledge and job skills considered to be of long-term benefit to the U.S. job market. Preferred immigrant workers are categorized under the following preferences:￼￼
- First preference immigrant worker: workers who possess “extraordinary ability” in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics; notable professors or researchers; or multinational managers or executives meeting a list of government criteria.
- Second preference immigrant worker: transferring executives or managers of multinational companies.
- Third preference immigrant worker: skilled workers whose jobs would require a minimum of two years’ training or work experience.
- Fourth preference immigrant worker: unskilled workers who would require less than two years’ training or experience — not including temporary or seasonal workers.
Like non-immediate family members, there are annual quotas on the number of green cards granted to immigrant workers. A single country’s applicants cannot exceed 7% of the total number of green cards issued.