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American Preference Visa: Employment Based

The employment based visa preference system allows American employers to petition the USCIS on behalf of certain qualifying employees. Preference categories are based around a numerical limit which determines the availability and waiting period of each preference category.

Many preference visa categories are oversubscribed. This means this system is often backlogged and employees often have to wait several years to be allocated a visa.

The preference categories are as follows:

The numerical limits decrease in order of preference, meaning the first preference is allocated more places for migration than the second preference and so on. The availability of each employment based visa is also limited by the employee's country of origin, as the Department of State will halt migration from a specific country once their quota for migration has been reached.