Employment Green Cards

Washington D.C. Employment Green Card Attorney

Over 20 Years of Combined Legal Experience in Alexandria

Employment-based green cards allow foreign workers to live and work in the United States on a semipermanent basis. Green cards confer lawful permanent residency and serve as a path to U.S. citizenship.

Obtaining an employment-based green card typically involves the following steps:

  • Receiving a permanent offer of employment from a U.S. employer willing to sponsor you (some exceptions apply)
  • Filing a Labor Certification with the U.S. Department of Labor (handled by your sponsoring employer)
  • Filing an employment petition with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  • Waiting for a visa to become available
  • Applying for consular processing or an adjustment of status

Seeking and securing an employment-based green card can be extremely challenging, especially if you are applying for a visa with historically high demand. Our Washington D.C. employment green card lawyer at Law Group International can help you explore your visa options and assist you throughout the application process. We are intimately familiar with the United States immigration system and can leverage our team’s decades of experience to benefit your case.

Understanding the Preference Category System

Employment-based green cards are extremely popular, and demand typically outweighs supply for many visa categories. A maximum of 140,000 visas is issued each year. Visas from this pool are allotted across 5 preference categories. These visa categories are ranked, meaning that higher categories receive higher priority.

Employment-based green cards are distributed across the following preference categories:

  • EB-1 Visas for Priority Workers. This category is reserved for those with exceptional abilities (typically in the arts, science, business, athletics, or education industries), outstanding professors or researchers, and multinational executives and managers. Applicants will need to provide extensive documentation that demonstrates that they are recognized and acclaimed in their field.
  • EB-2 Visas for Workers with Advanced Degrees and Exceptional Abilities. Foreign workers with degrees that are higher than a bachelor’s degree, such as a master’s, doctorate, or foreign equivalent, are eligible for green cards under this category. Workers with bachelor’s degrees may also qualify if they can demonstrate they have at least 5 years of relevant work experience. EB-2 visas are also available to foreign workers with National Interest Waivers.
  • EB-3 Visas for Professionals, Skilled Workers, and Unskilled Workers. Foreign professionals with at least a bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent are eligible for EB-3 visas. “Skilled workers” include anyone filling a position that requires at least 2 years of relevant experience or training. “Unskilled workers” filling positions that require less than 2 years of experience or training can also qualify for the EB-3 visa if that position is not temporary or seasonal in nature.
  • EB-4 Visas for Certain Special Immigrants. This miscellaneous category includes government translators, certain U.S. government employees and former employees, religious workers, and other exceptions.
  • EB-5 Visas for Immigrant Investors. Up to 10,000 visas are reserved for foreign investors that put at least $1,000,000 into a job-creating enterprise or approved regional center. Some investors may qualify on a minimum of $500,000 if their effort supports an economically distressed area.

We have handled thousands of cases for clients around the world. Schedule a consultation by calling (703) 546-9300 or contacting us online.


Even if an applicant meets all of the eligibility requirements for a visa category, they will not be able to secure a green card until one becomes available. Because demand can outstrip supply in some categories, applicants will often face substantial wait times for their priority date to become “current.” Applicants from countries with high application volumes, including China and India, can experience even larger waits, as only a certain number of visas can be issued to individual countries each year.

EB-1 and EB-2 visa applicants often do not have to wait at all before visas become available (unless they are applying from a high-volume country). EB-3 visa applicants may need to endure waits of several months or more.

Our Washington D.C. employment green card attorney can assist you in navigating the complex and sometimes confusing preference category system. We can evaluate your qualifications and determine under which categories you are eligible. From there, we can strategize on how best to minimize your wait time and secure your visa as efficiently as possible.

Other Employment-Based Visas

Other nonimmigrant visas can enable foreign workers to live and work in the United States on a temporary or conditional basis. Some of these nonimmigrant visas allow recipients to apply for green cards once they are in the United States.

We can assist you with the following nonimmigrant worker visas:

  • H-1B Visas for Specialty Occupations. U.S. employers can use this visa to hire foreign workers to fill “specialty occupations” that require some manner of technical or theoretical expertise. The visa is commonly used in the computer software, engineering, architecture, and science industries. H-1B visas are capped, and most prospective applicants are subject to a visa lottery. Once approved, the visa is valid for 3 years and can be extended for up to 6 years. Recipients can apply for green cards once in the United States.
  • E-2 Treaty Investor Visas. Foreign nationals that are citizens of a treaty nation can secure this visa by investing at least $100,000 in a U.S.-based commercial enterprise. The venture must offer goods or services and represent some level of risk. Applicants will need to demonstrate that they intend to enter the country to support their investment. Though E-2 visa recipients cannot pursue lawful permanent residency, they can effectively stay in the U.S. indefinitely. The E-2 visa is valid for 2 years once issued, but it can be renewed an unlimited number of times so long as the beneficiary continues to work to support their commercial endeavor.
  • L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visas. Managers, executives, and employees with specialized knowledge can benefit from the L-1 visa, which allows them to live and work in the United States in order to support a U.S. branch, office, or operation that engages in commercial foreign trade. Executives and managers can extend their visas for up to 7 years, while employees with specialized knowledge can stay for up to 5 years. L-1 visas are “dual-intent visas,” allowing beneficiaries to pursue green cards while working in the United States.

Adjustment of Status Versus Consular Processing

Once USCIS approves your petition to work in the United States and a visa becomes available, you will need to formally change your immigration status through consular processing or an adjustment of status. Whether you are currently in the United States will determine which process you must complete.

If you are already in the United States, you will need to submit additional paperwork to USCIS in order to adjust your status. USCIS generally takes several months to process these requests.

If you are outside the United States, you will need to schedular a consular processing appointment with your home country’s U.S. embassy or consular office. Because appointments can often be secured within weeks versus months, consular processing can sometimes be faster than requesting an adjustment of status. However, you will need to participate in an in-person interview that is intended to confirm your eligibility for the visa you applied for.

Our Washington D.C. employment green card attorney at Law Group International can assist you with consular processing and adjustments of status. We can help you navigate the U.S. employment immigration system and work to make what can be a difficult and protracted process as painless and efficient as possible. We have assisted thousands of clients and are committed to giving you the legal support that you need and deserve.


We are committed to serving workers throughout the global community and offer our legal services in English, Farsi, German, and Spanish. Call (703) 546-9300 or contact us online today!


Delivering Quality Immigration Services to Our Clients

First-Hand Experiences
  • “Best Immigration Attorney.”

    - Brandlynn T.
  • “I’ve been a client of this firm for over 5 years, through multiple cases & transactions.”

    - Ahmed J.
  • “Highly recommended!”

    - Shannon P.

We Will Protect Your Immigration Rights as if They Were Our Own

Schedule a Consultation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.