Employment – Up to 140,000 persons are permitted to immigrate annually based upon their employment. Priority workers (persons of extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business or athletics, outstanding researchers and professors, and certain executives and managers of multinational companies) and persons of exceptional ability and holders of advanced degrees may immigrate if they are able to demonstrate to the Labor Department that there are no U.S. workers qualified and available to assume their jobs, or that their presence in the U.S. is in the “national interest”. Professionals with bachelor’s degrees, skilled workers and a limited number of unskilled workers may immigrate if their employers can demonstrate the unavailability of qualified U.S. workers to the Labor Department. Finally, a small number of “special immigrants”, primarily religious ministers and other religious workers, are permitted to immigrate through employment.
Investment in the United States – Up to 10,000 investors and their families may immigrate to the U.S. annually. To qualify, you must invest a minimum of one million dollars ($500,000 if the investment is made in a rural or high- unemployment area) in a new commercial enterprise and employ a minimum of ten full-time U.S. workers.
Asylum (Refugee status) – The U.S. accepts approximately 100,000 refugees and asylees annually. Refugees apply abroad to immigrate to the U.S. They must demonstrate that they have a “well-founded fear of persecution” in their home countries. Asylees are similar to refugees except that they are present in the U.S. when they request asylum.
Visa Lottery – 55,000 people each year are chosen at random to immigrate from millions of applicants for the diversity visa lottery, with frequent changes in the rules regarding who can apply. This is because most persons who immigrate to the U.S. through relatives and employment are from Asia and Latin America. The aim of the visa lottery is to insure “diversity” in immigration. For example, persons born in “high-immigration” countries (Canada, Mexico, China (PRC and Taiwan), India, Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Poland, United Kingdom, Jamaica, El Salvador, Colombia and the Dominican Republic) are ineligible to apply for the visa lottery in certain years.
Cancellation of Removal Proceedings – Even someone who is not legally present in the US, may under certain circumstances, be eligible for permanent residence: An alien in removal proceedings may apply for a green card from an Immigration Judge if he has been in the US for at least ten years before being placed under removal proceedings; is a person of good moral character; and can demonstrate that it would be an” extreme hardship” to his US citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent(s) or child if he were forced to leave the US. These applications are complex and you will need to hire the best immigration lawyer. The Immigration Judge may grant permanent residence to such a person at his discretion, subject certain restrictions.