Serving Clients Across The U.S. And Around The World

Do You qualify for an EB-4 special immigrant visa?

by | Jun 24, 2021 | EB-4

EB-4 is a category of visa that allows for special immigrant status to certain parties that meet the requirements. Immigrants in the EB-4 category may also qualify to apply for lawful permanent residence in the United States. The category is limited, which means that only so many can be allotted each year and requires the completion of Form I-360 to apply. Special immigrant status can be granted on employment-based requirements that qualify an individual for an EB-4 Green Card. Below we’ll explore some of the types of workers that may qualify for this status and potentially apply for an EB-4 visa.

Religious workers

In some circumstances, foreign religious workers can complete an EB-4 application. To qualify, they will have to be part of a nonprofit religious organization based in the U.S. for a minimum of two years. In addition, they may apply if they are seeking special immigrant status to continue on their employment with the religious organization and must be entering a full-time position with them. Only 5.000 EB-4 green cards are available each year for this category.


Certain physicians licensed to practice medicine in the U.S. on or before January 9, 1978, or who entered on an immigrant H or J status before January 10th of that year can apply for an EB-4 Green Card if they have been continuously practicing in the U.S. since that time. They also must have completed a medical program and been qualified to practice in a foreign state.

Those employed abroad by the U.S. Government

Certain employees that have been retired from the American Institute of Taiwan or have been honorably retired from the U.S. Government abroad may be eligible for EB-4 status. They must have been employed in the position for at least 15 years and receive a recommendation from the Director of the American Institute of Taiwan or an officer of the Foreign Service establishment.

Employees or family of a long-term international organization

G4 employees, retirees, and their children who have had a nonimmigrant status in the U.S for seven years but resided in the U.S. for at least half the time may also be eligible. In addition, spouses of employees of international organizations who had a G4 or N status lived in the U.S. for at least 15 years, and had nonimmigrant status for at least half of the last seven years can apply as well. NATO-6 employees may also receive similar treatment as G4 employees, though applications are limited.

Armed Forces servicemen and servicewomen

Those who served in the armed forces and were on active duty in the U.S. after October 15, 1978, and then were lawfully enlisted outside the U.S. may obtain EB-4 classification. Those who are no longer on active duty may also be considered if they served at least 12 years and were honorably discharged. In some cases, spouses and children may also apply.

Afghan/Iraqi Nationals who provided U.S. support

Some Iraqi or Afghan nationals who had provided valued service during U.S. operations for at least a year during conflicts in the area may be allowed to apply for EB-4 classification. For example, Afghan nationals who served a U.S. operation for a two-year period between October 7, 2001, and December 31, 2016, and served as a translator or interpreter for U.S. military personnel may also apply if they are experiencing threats in their country due to their employment with U.S. officials. The same is true of Iraqi nationals who served the U.S. Government between March 20, 2003, and September 30, 2013, for a period of at least a year.  To qualify, their service must be documented, and they must receive a letter of recommendation from their supervisor.


If a foreign broadcaster wishes to work as a broadcaster in the U.S. for either the Broadcasting Board of Governors or the International Broadcaster Bureau, then they, their spouse, and their children may all qualify for EB-4 classification. This can apply to reporters, translators, editors, producers, writers, announcers, and analysts that provide support for the broadcast.

While there are only a limited amount of EB-4 special immigrant visas granted per year, several occupations, including the ones listed above, may qualify an individual for application.