The UCSIS counts the EB 4 Visa amongst those conditional on employment. This green card is reserved for special immigrant religious workers. Generally, that includes people who hold a nonprofit denomination to conduct religious activities.

However, that isn’t to say that other kinds of applicants cannot use this category to become U.S. residents. Specifically, armed forces members and physicians, are eligible for an EB-4 visa. The requirements will pertain to the class an applicant belongs to. Thus, they can change on a per case basis. Even so, generally, an EB-4 Visa applicant must have their employer petition by filing Form I-360. Like most immigrant visas, this one remains valid six months onwards from its issuance date.

In the EB 4 Category, the tricky part for a prospective applicant is recognizing if they are a special immigrant or not. Many individuals determine that inaccurately. Consequently, they waste money and effort while trying in vain to get green cards they don’t even qualify for.

What’s more, since only 10,000 green cards leave the USCIS post-approval annually, those candidates will be waiting for a long time. That wait only terminates on bad news. Hence, our recommendation would be to email Eric Price for a consultation before you file any forms!

Who Can Apply For the EB-4 Visa?

As mentioned above, before worrying about the length of EB 4 Visa Processing Time, determine if you qualify for this green card. Below, we explicate the individuals who do. Go ahead only if you:

  • Act as a clergy member/are a professional at a nonprofit religious organization
  • Are a foreign worker/now retired native of Panama who has been involved with the local government for 15 years
  • Have been working at the American Institute in Taiwan for the same duration or more
  • Are a Panama Canal Treaty employee for a year/ have worked for five years and left employment post-treaty ratification
  • Arrived and remained in the U.S. before 1978 as nonimmigrant with the aim to study or practice medicine
  • Have Afghan/Iraqi nationality and are under threat since you work for the U.S. government
  • Arrived in the country to be a part of certain international organizations
  • Happen to be a foreign national mistreated as a juvenile by immigrant parents and now are dependent on the government
  • Can count as a foreign national who has worked for the American military since October 1, 1978, outside the country for 12 or more years
  • Are a civilian NATO/Broadcasting Bureau of the Broadcasting Board of Governor employee


R-1 Visa vs. EB-4 Visa

A religious worker can use both the R-1 and EB-4. However, the R-1 allows you to do so temporarily. Unlike the EB-4, you can stay for 30 months – and extend your stay by as many months later on. At the end of that time, though, you must leave for a year if you want to return. With an EB-4 visa, you receive permanent residency status.

Even when they share many requirements, an R-1 won’t make it certain that you will get your green card unlike the EB-4 would.

EB-4 Eligibility Requirements

EB 4 Visa Requirements state that religious workers must have experience of two years or more in their field. Therefore, you must avow to continue to live in a specifically religious manner even after arrival. For broadcasters, the BBG must petition on their behalf. Additionally, they must be media work professionals because a technical or support role at the BBG won’t qualify them.

EB-4 Application Process

The EB-4 application process takes several steps to complete. We explain them for you below:

Form I-360

Your employer in the U.S. will get the ball rolling when they file an I-360. Together with that form and other documents, they make a case to hire you. The supporting paperwork includes tax returns, financial statements, and audit documents. Also, you can only self-petition in certain cases – best to contact the USCIS or a legal expert to find out if that will work.

Application Fees

In the case of the employer petitioning to get you to the U.S., they pay $205 for the I-360. Later on, you pay to process the DS-261 ($445), medical exams, and any other charges for translation, additional documentation, and so on.

EB-4 Processing Time

EB 4 Green Card Processing Time might vary because this type of visa has an annual limit on it. The number of EB-4 green cards that the U.S. will issue is limited. Hence, you could be looking at a longer processing time. Moreover, those visas that remain after the limit will get on the list for next year. They will enter the process on a priority date basis. When yours becomes current, your application will be viewed. So, you can get yours in a few months or have to wait for four years. Fortunately, the USCIS will alert you when that time arrives.

What To Do If Your Application Is Denied

The consulate will inform you if your EB 4 Special Immigrant Visa gets denied. Moreover, they also let you know why it happened. Usually, an incomplete application or paperwork is behind denials. Therefore, ensure you send in everything if you want to get a favorable decision.

Furthermore, when the denial does happen, it isn’t permanent. More specifically, you would have one year to respond with the information that the consulate requires from you. Should you do that, they will consider reversing the denial. Although, whether that will occur depends on the visa officer looking at your application. If you cannot satisfy them, they will close the case. In that situation, there’s no way to appeal that decision. It means you must begin the EB-4 process anew. More importantly, you would also be paying the same amount in fees as you did before.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

It is essential that you know not only What Is the EB 4 Visa but also if you qualify for one. In addition to finding that out, ensure you send in everything the U.S. government expects from your side. Failure can result in visa denial. We’d suggest that you don’t chance it and contact LA’s best immigration lawyer, instead!

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