Who are the “First Preference” Workers?

According to the U.S. immigration laws, the first preference workers are those whose admission to the United States is deemed so important to justify a waiver of the Labor Certification system.

Extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, business or athletics:

The prospective immigrant must show sustained national or international acclaim, recognition of his or her achievements through extensive documentation; that he or she is entering the United States to work in that area of ability, and that this entry will “substantially benefit prospectively” the United States.

Outstanding professors or researchers:

The immigrant must have international recognition as outstanding in a specific field, at least three years’ experience in teaching or research in that field, and be entering for a “tenured” or “tenure track” teaching position or comparable research position.

The alien’s presence must substantially benefit the United States, and “exceptional ability” requires more than a mere degree or license. A job offer is normally required. However, this requirement may be waived by the Attorney General, through its designated representative, the Immigration & Naturalization Service, unless the alien was placed in removal proceedings.

Multinational executives and managers:

The immigrant must have been employed outside the United States for at least one year as a manager or executive during the three years preceding the petition for his or her entry as a non-immigrant, and the prospective employer in the United States must be the branch, affiliate or subsidiary of the same company who employed the alien abroad; and the prospective United States employer has been doing business for at least one year.

A Labor Certification Application, explained below, is not required for the above three subcategories.