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The Employment First category gets you to the U.S. faster

If you plan to come to the United States to work, you'll need to obtain an employment-based immigrant visa. The first step is for a prospective employer to obtain a labor certificate approval from the United States Department of Labor. Once that's obtained, the employer needs to file for an Immigrant Petition for an Alien Worker, which begins the process of bringing you into the country for work.

If you have extraordinary abilities that are listed in the Employment First category, then you can file your own application to work in the United States. People who qualify in this section include those in the sciences, business, athletics, arts or education who show they have national or international acclaim. They must show recognition in their fields of expertise. If you are a recognized professor or researcher with international acclaim, then you need to show three years of experience before you can apply for your own work visa. Additionally, those working with companies with international affiliates, branches or subsidiaries may be able to apply for their own work visas if they are coming to the United States as executives or managers.

If you are not in the Employment First category, then your potential employer needs to file an application for you in most cases. It's important to talk to your prospective employer about what you need to provide for him or her to file the correct documents. It can take some time for the application to be approved. If you're concerned about the process, our website has more information on the steps necessary to come to the United States to work.

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