How does employment-based immigration work? –

Second preference: Professional holding advanced degrees and aliens of exceptional ability

This category is for members of the profession holding advanced degrees or their equivalent, or who, because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the United States and whose services are sought by an employer in the United States. A bachelor’s degree plus five years professional experience in the profession constitutes the equivalent of an advanced degree. Also, the beneficiary will be disqualified if he or she was ever involved in criminal and immigration violations.

Third preference: Skilled workers, professionals holding basic degrees, and “other” workers:

Skilled workers must have two years training or experience, and the job may not be temporary or seasonal. A professional must hold a United States or equivalent baccalaureate degree and be a member of one of the professions. The job offered must require a baccalaureate degree for entry into the particular occupation.

“Other workers” include non-temporary or seasonal unskilled laborers.

Fourth preference: Special immigrant religious workers:

The worker must be a member of the religious denomination for two prior years; the religious denomination must be a nonprofit, tax exempt religious organization recognized in the United States, and the alien must be coming to the United States to carry on work as a minister, professional or other worker. This category was created in the Immigrant Act of 1990, and contained a Coram Nobis provision which caused the program to end on September 30, 1997. As of the date of writing of this article, there had been no formal extension of this program by the United States Congress.