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Fourth Preference (EB-4) Your Dream is My Dream

Fourth Preference (EB-4) Special Immigrants Under INA §203(b)(4)

This category includes several immigrants, including returning residents, persons reacquiring United States citizenship and Religious workers.

Returning residents are those who did not abandon their residence but do not have a valid I-551 card. The resident would file form DS-117 with all supporting evidence to show that she did not abandon her residence. She would be issued an SB-1 Immigrant Visa. This category also includes commuters from borders who are Lawful Permanent Residents who live in Canada or Mexico and commute to the United States. Time spent outside on commuter status does not count for naturalization purposes.

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Religious Workers Petitions for Permanent Residence:

Religious Workers include ministers or religious workers who:

  1. For 2 years immediately preceding the petition has been a member of a religious denomination that has a bona fide, non-profit, religious purposes;
  2. The person seeks to enter the US to work for at least 35 hours as a minister or a religious worker; and
  3. The person has been working as a minister or a religious vocation in the United States or abroad for at least two years immediately preceding the petition. The two years do not have to be in legal status. Once the 2 years is established and the I-360 is approved, the person may adjust if he has been out of status for less than 180 days. Some breaks in the 2 years are allowed as long as 1) the applicant was still employed in a religions denomination 2) the break did not exceed 2 years 3) the purpose was to further religious education 4) the applicant was still a member of the denomination. The employment must be either full time or continuous. To meet the 2 years requirement the person should have been compensated.

Special Immigrant Juveniles  Petitions for Permanent Residence:

Special Immigrant Juveniles (SIJ) are also included in this category. This is a hybrid between state dependency laws and the immigration laws of the United States. The requirements for this type of classification are as follows:

  1. The child has to be under 21 at the time of filing the I-360
  2. Has been declared dependent by a state court before he turned 18
  3. Whose reunification with one of his or her parents is not a viable option, and
  4. In his or her best interest not to be returned to the parent’s country of citizenship

Please call us if you have any questions about fourth preference, EB-4, petitions.

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