Matthews Immigration Group | Raleigh Law Firm | Business Permanent





Matthews Immigration Group provides representation to businesses, research organizations, universities, and other entities of all sizes with the international movement of key personnel. We facilitate nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers and business visitors as well as immigrant visas for long-term assignments and permanent residence. In addition, our firm creates manageable, proactive approaches to corporate compliance programs. Using a customized approach that is appropriate for each client’s unique situation, we assess a company’s current practices, create streamlined corporate compliance and training programs tailored to a company or organization’s specific needs, and provide ongoing support.

Employment-based immigration is divided into various categories and subcategories, distinguished principally by the level of skill and accomplishment possessed by the intending immigrant. These subcategories are known as “preferences.” A complicated allocation system based on category and country of origin determines how many employment-based immigrant visas are available on an annual basis. Visa availability is monitored by the U.S. Department of State and published monthly in the Visa Bulletin.


The principal employment-based immigration classifications are the first preference (EB-1) category for persons of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational managers and executives; the second preference (EB-2) category for advanced-degree professionals and persons of exceptional ability; and the third preference (EB-3) category for professionals with a bachelor’s degree (or foreign equivalent), skilled workers, and other workers.


First Employment-Based Preference

Priority Workers


First Employment-Based Preference Category


Persons of Extraordinary Ability


This category is reserved for the absolute best and the brightest; the small percentage who have risen to the highest levels in their fields of endeavor, and whose achievements have been recognized by sustained national or international acclaim.

Outstanding Professors and Researchers


This category is reserved for individuals who are recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area, who have been engaged in teaching or research for at least three years, and who enter the United States either: (a) to pursue a tenure-track teaching position or comparable position at a university or institute of higher education to conduct research; or (b) to assume a comparable position to conduct research with a private employer that already employs at least three persons full-time in research activities in a department that has achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.

Multinational Managers and Executives


This category is reserved for individuals who are being transferred from an overseas managerial or executive position to a U.S.-based managerial or executive position within an affiliate or subsidiary of the overseas entity. The individual must have been employed overseas for one of the previous three years by a firm, corporation, or other legal entity that is an affiliate or subsidiary of the U.S. employer.  For individuals already in the United States, the requirement is met if the foreign national worked overseas for an affiliate or subsidiary for at least one of the three years prior to entering the United States as a nonimmigrant.


Second Employment-Based Preference

Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees + Persons of Exceptional Ability


Second Employment-Based Preference Category



This category is reserved for individuals with advanced degrees (or the equivalent) or individuals of exceptional ability in the sciences, the arts, or business. Labor certification (PERM) is required for this category, except for individuals whose cases fall under a very narrow exception that waives labor certification in the national interest (i.e., a “National Interest Waiver”).

Advanced Degree or the Equivalent


An advanced degree is a post-baccalaureate degree, e.g., a master’s degree or a doctorate (or foreign equivalent). The equivalent to a master’s degree, for purposes of this category, is a four-year bachelor’s degree followed by five years of progressive experience demonstrated by advancing levels of responsibility and knowledge in the specialty.

Exceptional Ability


“A degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered.”  Evidence of exceptional ability can include an advanced degree in the area of specialization, at least 10 years of experience, a license to practice the profession, and industry or peer recognition for achievements or contributions to the field.


Third Employment-Based Preference

Professionals, Skilled Workers + Other Workers


Third Employment-Based Preference Category



This category is reserved for professionals, skilled workers, and other workers, as defined below. Labor certification (PERM) is always required for this category.




Individuals with a bachelor’s degree (or the foreign equivalent).

Skilled Workers

Individuals who will be employed in a full-time permanent job requiring at least two years of training or experience, including relevant postsecondary education.

Other Workers


Individuals who will be employed in a position that requires less than two years of training or experience.



EB-4: Certain "Special Immigrants"


EB-5: Employment Creation Investors


SK-1: Certain Retired International Organization Employees


SK-2: Spouses of SK-1s


SK-3: Certain Unmarried Sons + Daughters of International Organization Employees


SK-4: Certain Spouses of Deceased International Organization Employees



B-1 Business Visitor Visas + Visa Waivers

H-1B Cap + Alternatives

Employment Authorization for Foreign Students + Exchange Visitors

STEM OPT Extensions

Expiration + Renewal Tracking

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) Solutions

PERM Audits + RFE Responses

Critical Onboarding Guidance + Traveler Assessments

Consular Applications

HR + Corporate Management Compliance

Minimizing Exposure to Unfair Immigration-Related Practice Charges

Merger + Acquisition Due Diligence

Technology Alert List (TAL) Analysis

International Trafficking in Armaments (ITAR) + Export Administration Regulations (EAR) Analysis

Family and Dependent Applications for Corporate Employees

Outbound Country Requirement Reports

Seminars + Training Programs

Written Opinions Regarding Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions

Formation of U.S. Business Entities for Foreign Companies

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Contact Us Today: +1.919.882.2026 / E-mail

Matthews Immigration Group

8601 Six Forks Road

Suite 400

Raleigh, NC 27615



Office Hours:

Monday - Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)

This site provides general information. More detailed, case-specific advice is available by scheduling a consultation.

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Headquartered in North Carolina, Matthews Immigration Group is a global practice representing clients

in all 50 states and around the world.