EB-4 visa

The fourth preference category of the EB-4 visa is reserved for those considered special immigrants. This does not require a job offer or labor certification. In this article, we bring you up-to-date information for 2020 about this category.


At the Lluis Law office our lawyers are specialists in the different types of visas for the USA. In addition to experienced immigration lawyers in Los Angeles who have solved cases for thousands of immigrants for over 40 years.

EB-4 visa eligible special immigrants

You may be eligible for an employment-based fourth preference visa if you are a special immigrant. Among these we find the following:

  • Religious workers.
  • Special immigrant juveniles.
  • Broadcasters.
  • G-4 international organization or NATO-6 employees and their families.
  • International employees of the US government abroad.
  • Armed Forces Members.
  • Employees of the Panama Canal Zone.
  • Certain physicians.
  • Afghan and Iraqi translators.
  • Afghan and Iraqi citizens who have provided faith services in support of U.S. operations.

Petition for an Employment-Based EB-4 Fourth Preference Immigrant

To apply for a fourth preference immigrant your employer must file a Form I-360 . 

However there are certain cases where the employee himself can make a request on his behalf. In the form instructions you can find out if you are eligible for the self-petition and the necessary evidence requirements.

Family relatives of EB-4 visa holders

Some classifications of the EB-4 visa allow benefits for immediate relatives. Both spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can be admitted to the United States.

To join the EB-4 visa holder, family members have three options:

  • Adjustment of status: This would be advisable if you are already in the US on a non-immigrant visa (the R-1 visa for example).
  • Consular process: Involves visiting a US embassy or consulate in your country of origin. 
  • Concurrent filing: In some situations a family member may join the owner after they have already arrived to the USA as a permanent resident.

Priority dates for EB-4 visas

In determining EB-4 processing time, the priority date is key. Due to the annual limitation, the dates are not the same for everyone. Countries like China or India tend to have longer waiting times due to the number of requests.

For information on the availability of EB-4 visas, please visit the USCIS website and specifically the Adjustment of Status Filing Charts from the Visa Bulletin.

On our website we explain in detail  what does the priority date mean for immigration.

Obtain permanent resident status

The final step in the EB-4 process once your priority date is updated is to obtain your permanent resident status. This will be done through consular processing or adjustment of status.

For more information on permanent residency, check out our article “How to get a Green Card“. You will also find extensive information in the section dedicated to “Family based immigration“. 

In addition, our lawyers are always at your service so do not hesitate to contact us. You can email us or call us toll-free directly at the office.

Broadcasters

Under section 203 (b) (4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), or a grantee of the USAGM, may petition for an alien (and the spouse and children of the alien) to work as a broadcaster for USAGM or a grantee of USAGM in the USA.

  • USAGM grantee means Radio Free Asia, Inc (RFA) or Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Inc. (RFE / RL).
  • A broadcaster is a reporter, writer, translator, editor, producer, or announcer for news broadcasts; hosts of news broadcasts, news analytics, editorials and other streaming features; or a news analysis specialist. The term broadcaster does not include individuals performing purely technical or support services to USAGM or a grantee of USAGM.

All Form I-360 petitions filed by USAGM or its grantee on behalf of the alien for the broadcaster position must be accompanied by a supplemental certification. This must have a date, be signed and include the following information about the possible alien broadcaster:

  • The job title and a complete description of the tasks to be performed; and
  • The experience in broadcasting that the foreigner has. This includes the time he has been performing tasks related to the prospective position. Instead a statement of how the alien possesses necessary skills that qualify him for the position at USAGM or a USAGM grantee. 

The instructions on the I-360 form indicate where to file the petition.

A person can apply for legal permanent resident (LPR) status in the EB-4 category if they qualify to be a special immigrant. 

From the R-1 visa to the EB-4 Green Card

A common confusion is believing that the R-1 visa is a direct route to the EB-4 green card. Although both share many requirements and make you a candidate, it does not streamline or guarantee the process.

You must file the I-360 petition in the same way as other applicants and wait for the updated priority date before adjusting your status or attending the consular interview

Expert EB-4 visa attorneys of the fourth preference

For both religious ministers and workers the process is relatively quick. You can get your visa or adjustment of status as soon as the petition is approved. At this point your best ally will be a good immigration attorney.

Our attorneys have handled successful cases for years for eligible applicants under the EB-4 visa. We can provide representation for you to submit your forms and supporting documentation.

Feel free to call us so we can do the hard work for you.