The Employment-Based Fourth Preference (EB4) Visa to Unites States of America
The Employment-Based Fourth Preference (EB4) Visa to Unites States of America

The Employment-Based Fourth Preference (EB4) Visa to Unites States of America


The employment-based fourth preference (EB4) category is an immigrant visa preference category for “special immigrants.” A person may apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in the EB4 category if he or she meets the requirements for status as a special immigrant.

The EB4 category is cap-subject, meaning that there are only a limited number of immigrant visa numbers.

An individual must have the Form I-360, Petition for American, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, filed on his or her behalf. Various Kinds of EB4, are:

1. Special Immigrant Religious Workers:

Certain foreign religious workers are eligible under section 101(a)(27)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Such application must have been a member of a bona fide non profit religious organization in America for at least the two years. 5,000 EB4 Green Cards for special immigrant religious workers are allocated each year but this cap does not apply to ministers.

  1. Employees of the U.S. Government Abroad:

Under section 101(a)(27)(D) the act, certain employees or honorably retired employees of the U.S. Government abroad or of the American Institute in Taiwan may be eligible for EB4 classification. The principle beneficiaries spouse and children may also be eligible for EB4 classification provided the employee have served in his position for 15 years or more and shall  have a recommendation of an officer of the Foreign Service establishment or of the Director of the American Institute of Taiwan, whichever is appropriate and then finally approved by  Secretary of State.

  1. Panama Canal Zone Employees Before October 1, 1979:

Under section 101(a)(27)(E)-(G), an individual who was:

  • an employee of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government prior to 1st October 1979, and
  • a resident in the Panama Canal Zone on 1st April 1979, and
  • have performed faithful service as such an employee
  • for 1 year or more may be eligible for EB4 classification,
  • provided such an individual must have served at least 15 years before.
  1. Physicians:

Under section 101(a)(27)(H) of the INA, certain physicians are eligible for EB4 Green Cards who shall have:

  • graduated from medical school or
  • have qualified to practice medicine in a foreign state,
  • have been fully and permanently licensed to practice medicine in a U.S. state by January 9, 1978,
  • have entered the United States in H or J status before January 10, 1978, and
  • have been continuously present in the United States in the practice or study of medicine since the date of such entry.
  1. Long-Term International Organization Employees and Family:

Under section 101(a)(27)(I) of the INA, certain long-term international organization employees and derivatives are eligible for EB4 classification.

The statute extends status to:

  • certain children of G4 employees who maintained non-immigrants status in the United States for at least 7 years between the ages of 5 and 21,
  • The surviving spouse of an officer or employee of an international organization who resided in the United States (in G4 or N status) for at least 15 years in the aggregate,
  • Certain retired G4 officers,
  • Finally, a NATO-6 employee and his or her spouse.


  1. Service in the Armed Services:

Person who served honourably in active duty in the United States

  • after 15th October 1978, and
  • after original lawful enlistment outside the United States (under treaty or agreement in effect on 1st October 1991) will be eligible provided:
  • if he or she served for 12 years and
  • if separated, was separated only under honourable conditions, or
  • if he or she served 6 years, remains on active duty, and
  • has re-enlisted to incur a total active duty service obligation of at least 12 years.

Also, the spouse or children of such persons are eligible for EB4 classification.

  1. Broadcasters:

Under section 101(a)(27)(M) of the INA, certain broadcasters may be eligible for EB4 classification. The principle’s spouse or children are also eligible for EB4 classification.

This provision applies for

  • translators,
  • reporters,
  • producers,
  • editors,
  • writers,
  • announcers for U.S. news broadcasts,
  • for analysists or
  • those who provide editorial coverage for such broadcasts.

Only 100 such visas are allocated each fiscal year.


  1. Afghan/Iraqi Translators:

Certain Iraqi and Afghan translators who meet certain requirements are eligible for EB4 classification if he/she

  • is Iraqi or Afghani national,
  • have worked directly with the U.S. Armed forces or Chief of Mission Authority,
  • for a period of 12 months
  • During the conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan respectively.

Also, the spouse or children of such a translator are eligible for EB4 classification.

Only 50 such visas are allocated each fiscal year.

  1. Afghan/Iraqi Nationals Who Provided Support to U.S. Operations:

An Afghan national may be eligible:

  • if he or she was employed in Afghanistan for a period of at least two years between October 7, 2001, and December 31, 2016, by or
  • on behalf of the U.S. Government, or
  • on behalf of the International Security Assistance Force, or
  • a successor mission that required the individual to serve as an interpreter or
  • translator for U.S. military personnel or
  • to perform sensitive and trusted activities for such personnel.

An Iraqi national may be eligible if:

  • he or she was employed by or on behalf of the U.S. Government in Iraq on or after March 20, 2003, but prior to September 30, 2013.


Provided, both Afghani and Iraqi nationals:

  • have provided faithful and valuable service to the U.S. Government,
  • For at least 1 year or more, and
  • their service must be documented in a letter of recommendation,
  • experiencing an ongoing and serious threat as a result of such employment.



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