Special Immigrant

A Fourth Preference applicant must be the beneficiary of an approved Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, Form I-360, with the exception of Certain Employees or Former Employees of the U.S. Government Abroad (see number 3 below). Labor certification is not required for any of the Certain Special Immigrants subgroups. Special Immigrants receive 7.1 percent of the yearly worldwide limit of employment-based immigrant visas.

There are many subgroups within this category:

  • Broadcasters in the U.S. employed by the International Broadcasting Bureau of the Broadcasting Board of Governors or a grantee of such organization
  • Ministers of Religion
  • Certain Employees or Former Employees of the U.S. Government Abroad – Must use Form DS-1884, Petition To Classify Special Immigrant Under INA 203(b)(4) As An Employee Or Former Employee of the U.S. Government Abroad (PDF – 275kb)
  • Certain Former Employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government
  • Certain Former Employees of the U.S. Government in the Panama Canal Zone
  • Certain Former Employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government on April 1st, 1979
  • Iraqi and Afghan interpreters/translators who have worked directly with the United States armed forces or under Chief of Mission authority as a translator/interpreter for a period of at least 12 months and meet requirements. This classification has an annual numeric limitation of 50 visas. See Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqi and Afghan Translators/Interpreters for more information.
  • Iraqi and Afghan nationals who have provided faithful and valuable service while employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq for not less than one year on or after March 20th, 2003 and prior to September 30, 2013, or in Afghanistan for not less than one year after October 7th, 2001, and have experienced an ongoing serious threat as a consequence of that employment. See Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqis – Worked for/on behalf of the U.S. Government and Afghans – Worked for/on behalf of the U.S. Government for more information.
  • Certain Foreign Medical Graduates (Adjustments Only)
  • Certain Retired International Organization Employees
  • Certain Unmarried Sons and Daughters of International Organization Employees
  • Certain Surviving Spouses of deceased International Organization Employees
  • Special Immigrant Juveniles (no family member derivatives; Adjustments Only)
  • Persons Recruited Outside of the United States Who Have Served or are Enlisted to Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Certain retired NATO-6 civilians
  • Certain Unmarried Sons and Daughters of NATO-6 civilians
  • Certain Surviving Spouses of deceased NATO-6 civilian employees
  • Persons who are beneficiaries of petitions or labor certification applications filed prior to September 11th, 2001, if the petition or application was rendered void due to a terrorist act on September 11th, 2001
  • Certain Religious Workers