The process of obtaining an immigrant employment visa has three basic steps.
But the limited number of available visas means some workers could be left waiting.
If they meet the requirements for a visa, employees
adjust status in the U.S. or interview for a
green card at the embassy/consulate in their home countries.
Employers apply for certification from the Department of Labor. They're required to show their need for work and a lack of qualified U.S. employees.
Employers or employees submit the I-140 form (petition for alien worker) to USCIS.
The I-140 categorizes workers according to the visas they apply for. But the government gives out only 140,000 visas each year. Those who apply after the quota has been met have to wait until their turn comes the next year before they can complete step 3.
It Helps To Be Educated
The U.S. allots more visas for "white collar" professionals than trade workers.
people of "extraordinary ability"
multinational business executives
professionals with advanced degrees
or holders of bachelor's degree who have at least 5 years experience