EB4 visa

What is an EB4 visa?

An employment-based green card known as an EB4 visa is available to some foreign nationals who fall under the category of “special immigrants”.

Selected candidates are granted the right to travel, reside, work, and study in the US with this visa. They can also apply for citizenship by naturalization after 5 years of living in the United States as a green card holder.

Some visa applicants can also sponsor their dependents, including spouses and children, to join them in America.

Who is eligible for the EB4 visa?

Immigrants who are US members of non-profit religious denominations are eligible for the EB4 visa. The application is open to different categories of people, including:

  • Religious workers who have worked for at least 2 years in a recognized non-profit religious organization in the United States.
  • Unmarried minors currently living in the United States are dependent on juvenile court due to neglect, abandonment, or otherwise. These young people must be under 21 years old
  • Foreign journalists coming to work for the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM).
  • Retired G-4 international officers or NATO-6 civilian employees and their families
  • U.S. federal employees living abroad and their families
  • Employees of the Panama Canal Company or the Panama Canal Zone
  • Certain physicians and physicians licensed in the United States as of January 9, 1978
  • Iraqi or Afghan translators or interpreters for the US military
  • Iraqis who have worked for the U.S. government for at least a year and who are under serious threat
  • Afghans who worked for the United States or ISAF (ISAF)
  • A few of these jobs demand further qualifications. You can also apply for the R1 visa, for religious workers, if you are a foreign religious worker. You are permitted a temporary stay in the United States with the visa.

What is the EB4 visa application process?

Employers in the US often sponsor an EB-4 visa. But occasionally, the worker could be permitted to sponsor themselves.

Your employer in the United States must first file a petition on your behalf before you can apply for an EB4 visa. Form I-360 must be completed in the first instance.

If you do not have a US employer as a sponsor, you can self-petition and complete Form I-360, but only in selected cases. Cases of aggressive parents, kids, and spouses of US residents are a few examples.

EB4 visa with self-application:

A real, permanent job offer from a US employer is also required. This job must be full-time and non-seasonal. The US employer must also demonstrate financial stability to prove they can hire you and pay your salary.

If you are a religious worker, you must present supporting documents of your religious profession, proof of your employer’s non-profit status and a letter from a superior of the religious organization. Religious employees do not need a PERM work certification, unlike other work visas.

After processing the Form I-360, you must wait for the verdict. Your petition can be approved or denied. If it is rejected, you will receive a letter with the reasons why it was rejected. The letter can also include your options for appealing the decision. You will be informed of what has to be done next if your petition is accepted.

Typically, you will have a green card interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your country of residence. In some cases biometric information is also required. We recommend that you consult with an immigration attorney to determine your eligibility to self-present and what evidence you need to support your case. This will help you avoid pitfalls and increase your chances of visa application approval.

EB4 visa with independent application:

A real, permanent job offer from a US employer is also required. This job must be full-time and non-seasonal. The US employer must also demonstrate financial stability to prove they can hire you and pay your salary.

If you are a religious worker, you must submit supporting documents of your religious profession, proof of your employer’s non-profit status, and a letter from a superior of the religious organization. Religious employees do not need a PERM work certification, unlike other work visas.

What are the fees for applying for the EB4 visa?

Paying the registration fees is the first thing to do after receiving the information package. Your immigration status on the CEAC website must show “PAID” before you can do anything else.

The exact rates will depend on whether you are sponsoring yourself or whether you are sponsored by a US employer. Therefore, these rates are not fixed. You can pay your taxes online.

Other rates include:

  • USCIS Form I-360 Petition Filing Fee (if self-submitted): $435
  • Biometrics fee (if required): $85
  • USCIS Immigrant Fee: $220
  • You will also have to pay for the drug test and a translator for the interview, if you need one. The costs of these may vary. Some additional fees may also apply, which may depend on the category of EB4 visa you are applying for.

DS-260 and DS-261 module:

Form DS-260 is the standard visa application form. This is an online form that you must complete and submit from the CEAC website after logging in.

Form DS-261 is the next online form to fill out. It’s a very simple shape. You only need to provide information about the best way for the State Department to contact you during the application process.

After submitting both forms, you will receive a confirmation page with a unique number. You must print this confirmation page and bring it with you to the interview.

What documents will you need?

Several supporting documents are needed to support your visa application. It depends on the category of visa you are applying for. You should speak with an immigration attorney to learn the specific documents that apply to your case. This will significantly improve your chances of approval, as they will guide you in the best way to submit your petition and approach your visa interview.

The supporting documents provided must be issued by an official government issuing body in your home country. If these are non-English documents, you must include their certified English translations.

In general, these are some of the supporting documents you will need to provide:

  • An international passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended period of stay in the United States.
  • A job offer from a U.S. employer, if applicable
  • The approved Form I-360
  • Two 2×2 passport photos according to US Visa standards
  • Forms for medical exams and vaccination tests
  • Criminal record
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate if you are applying with family members
  • You must scan and upload these documents while the application is online. Provisions are made for uploading them to the CEAC portal. You should not mail documents to the NVC unless asked to do so. Scanned documents must be in JPG or PDF format. PDFs are required for multi-page documents. Furthermore, they must not be larger than 2 M.B. to an extent.

Uploaded documents must be in colorful format and well oriented. Once you have submitted your supporting documents, they will be reviewed by the NVC. Your request may be rejected if your documents are incomplete or a correction is needed.

Mandatory medical visits and vaccinations:

You must pass a medical examination to confirm that you are eligible to enter and live in the United States. In addition, it is necessary to carry out some vaccinations. You will know which vaccines to take from the CNV information pack as it differs from country to country.

A doctor approved by the U.S. Embassy in your home country must sign all of your medical forms. You can schedule your doctor visit anytime you want within the given time period. However, keep in mind that the sooner the better. Your medical forms will be rejected if signed by an unapproved doctor.

The doctor will send the signed forms directly to the embassy. They may also provide you with forms to send, but in a sealed envelope. You don’t have to open this envelope yourself.

EB4 Visa Interview:

This is the last stage of your EB4 visa application. The interview will take place at the US Embassy in your home country. For those in the United States, you should attend the interview at a USCIS office. During the interview, the immigration officer will ask you questions about your background and why you want to immigrate to the United States.

The interviewer will analyze your answers based on the information and supporting documents you have already provided. The visa will be granted if the interviewer approves your answers. If approved, your passport will be stamped with the EB4 visa, allowing you to travel to the United States. You will also receive a sealed package and present it to immigration authorities at a U.S. port of entry.

This package typically contains information that allows you to enter the country. You should not open it and it should be closed so that you can present it immediately upon arrival.


When will I receive a decision on my EB4 visa?

The processing period for an EB4 depends on when a slot becomes available in the visa bulletin. It also depends on factors like USCIS backlog and your home country. For example, applicants from China or India may wait much longer.

There is also an annual limit on the number of EB4 visas issued in a year. Visas are provided in chronological order, so you may have to wait years. It depends on when you applied and how many other people are waiting for the same visa.

How long is the EB4 visa valid?

The EB4 is an immigrant visa. It is a permanent resident visa and does not expire. As a successful EB4 visa applicant, you will receive a green card that automatically qualifies you as a lawful permanent resident of the United States. With your green card you can live, work, travel and re-enter the United States without restrictions.

Will an EB4 visa make me a US citizen?

Just like other immigrant visas, the EB4 visa offers a path to U.S. citizenship. With permanent resident status through an employment-based visa, you can apply for U.S. citizenship through naturalization 5 years after obtaining your green card.

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