EB-4 Visa Frequently Asked Questions

What is the EB-4 visa for?

The EB-4 visa is for special immigrants, including religious workers, certain employees of U.S. foreign service posts, broadcasters, retired employees of international organizations, certain Afghan and Iraqi nationals who have worked for the U.S. government, and others with specific qualifications.

What are the most used subcategories within the EB-4 visa category?

The most commonly used subcategories are both Religious Workers and Special Immigrant Juveniles. Consult your immigration attorney for guidance on the other EB-4 visa subcategories.

Do I need a job offer to apply for an EB-4 visa?

In some cases, you will need a job offer or sponsorship to apply for an EB-4 visa. However, the specific requirements and eligibility criteria vary widely among the different subcategories.

How long does the EB-4 visa application process take?

Processing times can vary significantly based on the specific subcategory and the volume of applications.

Can I include my family members in the EB-4 application?

Yes, you can include your immediate family members, such as your spouse and unmarried children under 21. They can obtain green cards as derivative beneficiaries.

Can I apply for permanent residency (a green card) directly with the EB-4 visa?

Yes, you can apply for permanent residency (a green card) directly. The EB-4 visa is an employment-based immigrant visa category that does not require a labor certification before filing I-360 visa petition.

Can I apply for an EB-4 visa while in the U.S. on a different visa status?

Depending on your current immigration status and the specific EB-4 subcategory, you may be able to apply for an EB-4 visa while in the United States. Consult your immigration attorney for guidance on your specific situation.

What is the process for obtaining a green card through the EB-4 visa category?

The process varies depending on the specific subcategory, but generally, it involves filing a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), obtaining approval, and then applying for an immigrant visa or adjusting status to a lawful permanent resident.
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Dana Davidson - Full Bio

Dana T. Davidson holds degrees from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and State University of New York at Stony Brook and has been practicing immigration law since 2003 in New York and nationwide. She represents corporations, individuals, and families in a broad range of immigration matters. Attorney Davidson has offices in New York City and Glen Cove.


  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, New York, New York
  • Juris Doctor – 1988
  • Honors: Moot Court Board, Member, Judge
  • State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York
  • Bachelor of Arts – 1982
  • Major: Political Science
  • Concentration: Business

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Safe Passage Project, Volunteer Attorney, 2013-Present
  • Educating the Educators, Founder, 2012-Present
  • Momentum Project, Board Member, 1991-1994 Bar Admission
  • New York, Eastern District
  • New York, Southern District
  • Washington, D.C.

Speaking Engagements
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2018, Berlin, Germany, Speaker on “Public Charge” panel
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Fall Conference 2018, Johannesburg, South Africa, Speaker: “Practice Management in the New Age” panel
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2018, Madrid, Spain, Speaker: “El Traje de Luces: Self-Sponsored Petitions – EB-1A and NIW”  AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2017, Brussels, Belgium, Speaker: “Continuing Blanket L Challenges”
  • Safe Passage Project, March 2017, Speaker: “Representing Unaccompanied Minors: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and the Effects of President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration”
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Fall Conference 2016, Speaker: “It’s Not About Money: I-864”
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2016, Vienna, Austria, Speaker: “K-Visa: Differences Between K-1 and I-130 Processing”
  • New York Institute of Technology’s Center for Entrepreneurship, January 2016, Entrepreneur/Executive-in-Residence
  • AILA Fall Conference 2015, London, UK, Speaker: Impact of joint sponsors on family-based cases
  • Goldman-Sachs 10,000 Small Business Education Program, October 2014, “What is required to grow a business?”
  • Dowling College, May 2013, Keynote Speaker at the first annual Latino Summit at Dowling College
  • International Taxation Conference, 2010