Every non-citizen individual who wishes to work in the United States must have some type of valid employment authorization document (EAD) or a visa. Each type of visa or EAD has different qualification requirements and different restrictions as to the type of work that can be performed and the duration of time the individual is allowed to stay in the United States. There are two general categories of visas offered by the United States: immigrant visas and non-immigrant visas.
Immigrant visas grant permanent residency, or “Green Card,” status. These are granted to a limited number of individuals, with preference being given to those who fit into three preference categories, EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4, and EB-5. Individuals who enter the United States with permanent residency and remain in the country for five years may then qualify for United States citizenship.