What is An EB-4 Visa?
An EB-4 is an employment-based permanent residency visa category for special immigrants.
For this visa category, special immigrants are specifically defined and designated by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Approved applicants get permanent residency, or a green card, with this visa.
As a fourth preference visa category, the EB-4 covers a variety of special immigrants subcategories by which a person can qualify for a Green Card. As an employment based visa, an employer sponsor is generally required for this visa although the various qualifications and requirements can vary depending on the sub-categories.
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Various filing fees are required throughout the EB4 process stages. Exact fees can vary depending on the country as well as potential administrative fee changes at the time of processing. In general filing fees are required with the Form I-360, DS-216, medical exam fees, fees for supporting documents, and potential translation fees. Total fees can run several thousand US dollars.
An EB4 visa holder can become an LPR, or receive their Green Card, after successful approval and entry to the US. The EB4 visa holder will be required to apply for their LPR/Green Card using Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The application, and subsequent process, is conducted via USCIS. Associated filing fees and documentation will be required with this application process as well. An approved application will result in a Green Card/LPR status.
Immediate family members can become eligible to come to the US but will have to apply after the EB4 visa is approved for the primary applicant. Once the EB4 visa is approved, the visa holder can petition for a spouse and/or single children under 21 years of age. The spouse/children will have to apply either by an adjustment of status process (if in the US), consular processing (if outside the US), or possibly concurrent filing if applicable. An attorney should be consulted who can explain the various options available in each case.
A negative outcome of denial of an EB4 petition can be appealed. The appeal would go the Associate Commissioner for Examinations. However, sometimes an appeal may not be the most advantageous step following a denial. An experienced attorney should be consulted to determine if an appeal process would be beneficial or if another option may be more economical or efficient for the applicant.