Each year, a limited number of visas become available for foreign workers to enter the U.S. as temporary or permanent legal residents. There are five levels of employment-based visas, covering a variety of different individuals in different situations. The employment-based fourth preference (EB-4) is like the others in the sense that it covers specific occupations and disciplines, but it can apply to juveniles without job experience or offers.
Factors such as age, education, and work experience determine which category of visa for which an individual can qualify. Special immigrants that are eligible for an EB-4 include:
When petitioning for an immigrant visa it is important for an individual to know what category they fit under. This research can be made significantly easier with legal assistance.
One of the vaguer categories that fits under the EB-4 green card is religious workers. Ministers and non-ministers in occupations and vocations related to religion are considered religious workers. These individuals can adjust their resident status or immigrate for the purpose of working in a full-time compensated religious position.
To qualify as a special immigrant religious worker, an individual must:
Proof must be provided for each requirement when filing Form I-360 with the USCIS.
One subgroup covered by the EB-4 visa does not apply to immigrant workers and is not based on potential employment. These exempt individuals are those who qualify as special immigrant juveniles (SIJs). SIJs are juveniles in the U.S. who have been abandoned, abused, or neglected by a parent and require the protection of a juvenile court.
To receive SIJ classification, an immigrant child must meet the following statutory requirements at the time an SIJ petition is filed and when the USCIS makes a decision:
Like other subgroups that fall under the EB-4 visa category, SIJ classification requires an I-360 petition. Since there is no employer because there is no potential employment, the individual can self-petition or be helped by the juvenile courts. Along with the I-360, the following supporting documents must be provided to the USCIS:
Once an individual receives SIJ classification after their I-360 petition was approved, they may apply for a green card by filing a Form I-485.
When immigrant visas are available, the I-360 and I-485 can be filed concurrently. However, if immigrant visas are not available, an individual must wait before filing their Form I-485. During this time, they can still file for a Form I-360 to earn SIJ classification. The USCIS usually makes SIJ petition decisions within 180 days.
This process can be difficult for individuals who are not familiar with the U.S. immigration system, and it becomes increasingly more confusing and stressful when the petitioner is a juvenile who has been separated from their parents. Having an experienced immigration attorney on your side can make all the difference when trying to earn legal, permanent residency. The legal team at Scott D. Pollock and Associates, P.C. understand the steps that need to be taken and are more than willing to assist you in every way possible.
Contact a member of our team today at 312.444.1940.