Immigration Options for International Students
Are you a foreign college (university) student studying in the U.S. and wanting to start a career in the United States upon the completion of your studies? Or are you a student interested in gaining permanent residence status (green card) via investing in the U.S.? The good news is, there are many immigration options for international students who study in the U.S.
Below are some of the most popular non-immigrant and immigrant options. If you like to learn more about ways of staying in the U.S. beyond your studies, please contact our office for a strategic immigration plan. We routinely provide customized immigration solutions for foreign students and scholars to fulfill their immigration goals in the United States.
Non-Immigrant Work Visa Options for F-1 Student
H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers Visa
- Who is eligible?
College graduate or with experience equivalent to a college degree.
- What are the typical requirements for a H-1B visa?
(i) college degree or equivalent (ii) job offer by U.S. employer for a position requiring a bachelors degree or higher in a particular field (iii) job duties match your Bachelors degree, Masters Degree, or professional degree, or it’s equivalent (iv) offered wage meets or is higher than the prevailing wage/Company Real Wage.
O Visa Extraordinary Ability Professionals
- Who is eligible?
Individuals who have an “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim or, with regard to motion picture and television productions a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement, and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation, and seeks to enter the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability.”
- What are the typical requirements for an O-Visa?
It depends on the area of expertise you possess.
Immigrant Visa Options for F-1 Students
EB-5 Investor Program
Getting a permanent residence status via the EB-5 investor program is one of the most popular and efficient ways for many foreign students in the U.S.
Benefits of EB-5 green card?
- No college degree or academic achievement required;
- No job offer is needed;
- No English language score test required;
- Can be filed anytime, no need to wait until the completion of your degree;
- Investment can be anywhere in the U.S. and outside of where you study or live;
- Investment can be indirect i.e. via a government approved EB-5 Regional Center;
- Investment can be a direct investment or pooled with other non-EB5 investors investment;
- Green cards for the entire family if you are the primary petitioner and have children under the age of 21.
EB-2 NIW – National Interest Waiver
National Interest Waiver is a second preference employment based green card category. Foreign nationals seeking a national interest waiver are requesting that the labor certification be waived because it is in the interest of the United States.
What are the benefits of NIW?
- No employer sponsorship is needed;
- No job offer is needed;
- Faster processing time as usually no backlogs of visa numbers for NIW EB2 unless applicant was born in China or India;
- Standard of proof is less stringent than EB-1(a);
- Can be filed concurrently with other EB-1 or EB-2 preference categories.
EB-1(a) Extraordinary Ability Green Card
EB-1(a) Extraordinary Ability is a Self-Sponsored employment based green card for any foreign nationals who can demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim.
What are the benefits of EB-1(a)?
Unlike other employment based green card categories such as EB-1(b) and EB-1(c), EB-1(a) does not require a job offer. Applicant can be self-sponsored.Learn more about EB-1(a) Green Card
EB-1b Green Card
EB-1(b) is employment based first preference green card category for outstanding researchers or professors who have at least 3 years experience in teaching or research in a specified academic area and are internationally recognized as an outstanding professor or researcher in the specified area.
What are the benefits of EB-1(b)
A Labor Certification (PERM) is not required, however a permanent job offer is required from a qualifying employer.
What are the general requirements for EB-1(b)?
The alien must be seeking to enter for:
- Tenure track position;
- Comparable position at University or Institute of Higher Education to conduct research; or
- Comparable position to conduct research with a private employer if the private employer employs at least 3 persons full time in research activities and the department, division, or institution has achieved documented accomplishments in the field.
- Research cannot include engineering or product design as the position must require “research” as opposed to “application”.
EB-2 Green Card?
Under the EB-2 Advanced Degree second preference green card category, applicants must be members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent or due to their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare of the U.S.
What are the requirements for EB-2?
Exceptional Ability in the sciences, arts or business” means a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.
EB-2 PERM – a job offer and labor certificate are needed, unless such requirements are waived by the USCIS because it is in the national interest to do so.Learn more about EB-2 Green Card
EB-3 Green Card
The EB-3 is a third preference employment based green card category. It requires lesser credentials than EB-1 or NIW and a job offer is needed. The EB-3 process is similar to the EB-2 PERM process described above and can lead to permanent residence (green card).
What are the requirements for EB-3 Skilled Workers?
- At least two years of job experience or training.
- Aliens must be performing work for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.
- A labor certification and a permanent, full-time future job offer are required.
What are the requirements for EB-3 Professionals?
- A bachelor’s degree or equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree.
- A bachelor’s degree is the normal entry requirement for the occupation.
- No minimally qualified US workers are available for the position.
- A labor Certificate and a full time job offer are required.
Marriage based Green Card
As long as the relationship is genuine, marriage with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident will make you eligible to apply for a marriage based permanent residence petition.
What are the benefits of marriage green card?
- No backlog and faster processing time as an Immediate Relative;
- Can apply for citizenship after 3 years (as opposed to 5 years), unless marriage is through a Lawful Permanent Resident, then eligible for naturalization after 5 years.
Why hire us?
The U.S. Immigration law is complex and evolving. If you are interested in knowing more about what immigration options might be available to you, please contact us for a consultation. We are highly experienced in providing strategic and customized immigration solutions for foreign national scholars and professionals.