Employment green cards

Employment green cards for highly qualified applicants

If you are highly skilled or have capital to invest you may qualify to get a work visa or an investor visa that will allow you to make money in the United States for as long as you wish. Green cards are issued to up to 140,000 employment based immigrants annually to work in green card jobs. These jobs are in areas where there is a shortage of trained U.S. workers to meet the needs of U.S. employers. Some people may also be able to get employment based green cards without job offers or employers to petition for green cards for them.

The Green Card

What is your employment green card preference?

Employment based green cards are issued based upon a preference system. The preference system matter a lot because waiting times for a green card vary. The system is divided into 5 groups.

  • EB1 preference – allots approximately 40,000 immigrant visa numbers (plus any left over from the EB4 and EB5 preferences) to “priority workers,” consisting of aliens with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain transferring multinational executives and managers. An offer of employment may not be required.
  • EB2 preference – allots approximately 40,000 immigrant visa numbers the same numerical allocation, (plus any overage from the EB 1st preference) to members of the professions who hold advanced degrees or their equivalent and for aliens of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
  • EB3 preference – allots approximately 40,000 immigrant visa numbers (plus any left over from the first and second EB preference) to skilled workers, professionals, and other workers (those needing less than two years of experience) for non-temporary, non-seasonal work.
  • EB4 preference – allots up to approximately 10,000 immigrant visa numbers to “special immigrants,” including ministers of religion.
  • EB5 preference – allots up to approximately 10,000 immigrant visa numbers for certain investors of defined amounts in a “commercial enterprise” that creates at least ten full-time jobs, subject to certain conditions designed to discourage fraud.


Immigrants in Eb2 and Eb3 preference generally must receive labor certification. Employment based immigration petitions are generally filed with USCIS on Form I-140. Though a potential employer may file for you, you may act as your own petitioner if you are an immigrant of extraordinary ability in the Eb1 preference, a second-preference beneficiary who is exempted from the requirement of a job offer (and labor certification), certain fourth preference immigrant or a fifth preference investor.



Birth certificate not available for green card

No birth certificate for green card?

Sometimes clients do not have certain civil documents such as birth or marriage certificates, to prove that they are eligible for visas or green cards. These types of case need more care and skill. Here is a brief discussion of the issue using a birth certificate as an example.

A visa applicant is responsible for bringing the original or certified copies of required civil documents to a visa interview to prove his or her eligibility for a visa. The USCIS may need a petitioner or beneficiary to send photocopies of the original or certified copies with a petition or application. Sometimes however birth or marriage certificates or other required documents (e.g. court documents, police records) are non-existent or cannot be obtained from a government agency in certain countries.

Reasons for non-availability

Sometimes a marriage or a birth is never registered. Registration of births was voluntary in India before 1970. War and civil unrest may destroy government archives (e.g. Liberia). In countries such as Cambodia, some birth and marriage records for certain periods are simply unavailable.

Proving birth and marriage by certificate of non-availability and affidavits

The US Consulate or USCIS will presume that an applicant who fails to produce or send required documents is ineligible for a visa or other benefit (e.g. a green card). The good news however is that the applicant can still prove eligibility using secondary evidence.

Certificate of non-availability

If a birth or marriage certificate is unavailable, an applicant must offer proof by obtaining a certificate of unavailability from the government agency where such documents originate unless the State Department recognizes that documents of that type are generally unavailable. The State Department Country Reciprocity Schedule indicates what type of required country documents are unavailable for particular countries. 


Non availability of birth certificate
Baptismal Record – Unavailable Birth Certificate
Secondary evidence of birth when birth certificate unavailable for green card

In addition to obtaining a certificate of non-availability (also called certificate of unavailability) the applicant must also bring or send secondary evidence of the event such as;

  • a passport ,
  • church records,
  • baptismal records,
  • adoption decrees,
  • hospital records,
  • school records, and
  • affidavits.

The applicant should offer two separate affidavits to prove a birth or marriage.  The affiant should be a person who was alive at the time of the birth or marriage and has personal knowledge of the event. The affiant may also be someone who can testify to family history.

The contents of affidavit of birth

The affidavit of birth or marriage should state

  1.  The full name of the affiant
  2. The date and place of birth of the affiant
  3. The affiant’s relationship to the applicant
  4. Full information about the event – when and where it took place
  5. How the affiant is familiar with the event (e.g. birth or marriage).

Additionally the affiant must sign the affidavit before a notary. For foreign language documents submitted to USCIS a certified translation into English must also be submitted.


In some family based cases involving non availability of birth certificates, the USCIS or the State Department may require a blood test to prove the claimed relationship. If you have any questions please speak to a qualified immigration attorney. If you need help with an immigration application call us at (702) 423-2721 to schedule a lawyer immigration consultation to discuss your individual needs.

What is K3 Visa?

The K3 Visa

As a Las Vegas immigration lawyer I often see cases where a US citizen is petitioning for a spouse living abroad and become concerned about the time it will take to bring the spouse to the United States. The k3 visa might be one option that the US citizen might consider. K3 visa waiting times can be shorter than waiting times for I-130 Petitions. However in practice K3 waiting times can be shorter or longer than posted USCIS processing times; and there is no guarantee. The processing times for some I-130 Petitions can also be shorter than posted processing times. Tactically though a K3 visa petition is something to consider if a married couple is very concerned about long waiting times.

Las Vegas Immigration LawyerPurpose of K3 visa

The LIFE Act of 2000, allows an alien who

  1. has a valid marriage to a U.S. citizen (husband or wife) and who is
  2. the beneficiary on Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and
  3. the beneficiary of an approved petition on Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e),

admission into the United States as a K3 non-immigrant to adjust to immigrant status (get a green card) while inside the United States. The K3 visa is different from the K1 visa in that the K1 alien is merely engaged to marry a U.S. Citizen and is seeking admission as a non-immigrant K1 to get married in the United States and adjust to immigrant status (green card).

Benefit of K3 Visa

  •  Avoids long wait abroad. Prior to the passage of the LIFE Act the spouse of a U.S. citizen who resides abroad had to wait for the length of time it took to process an immigrant visa which could be a year or more in some cases.
  • Derivative  K 4 status for children. The dependent children of the spouse of a U.S. citizen with an approved I-129F petition, who are accompanying or following to join their K 3 parent get admission on K 4 derivative status.
  • Admission for 2 years.  K 3 non-immigrants are initially admitted for a 2 year period. Extensions of stay are available for K3’s whose adjustment of status is not complete.
  • Employment in the United States. K-3/K-4 aliens must apply to USCIS for a document evidencing employment authorization using Form I-765.

End of K3 visa status

Termination of K3/K4 status. K3/K4 status automatically terminates 30 days after

  1. The denial or revocation of the Form I-130 petition;
  2. The denial or revocation of the immigrant visa application (Forms DS-230) filed by the alien;
  3. The denial or revocation of the alien’s application for adjustment of status (Form I-485) to that of lawful permanent residence;
  4. The K-3 spouse’s divorce from the U.S. citizen (final judgment);
  5. The marriage of an alien in K-4 status.

The K-4 status also ends with the denial of any of these petitions or applications for a K-3 parent. Nevertheless, a denial or revocation of a petition or application is not effective unless you have exhausted the administrative appeal applicable to your application or petition.


K3 visa applications can take unexpected twists and turns. Put the matter into the hands of a knowledgeable and experienced immigration lawyer. If you have any questions call us at 702-423-2721 to schedule a consultation to determine potential eligibility for the K3 visa.

Gary Goodin, Las Vegas Immigration Lawyer at Goodin Law P.A. 702-423-2721.