Green card for Overseas Foreign Employees of U.S. Government


If you are a long-time foreign national employees of the U.S. Government abroad, there is a new way for you to apply for a U.S. green card.  A new law provides immigrant visas to certain overseas foreign national employees of the U.S. government, their family members, and their surviving spouses and children. 

Section 5104 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024 addresses the immigration needs of certain foreign national employees of the U.S. government stationed overseas. It acknowledges their invaluable contributions and seeks to facilitate their integration into American society. 
This new law allocates up to 3,500 immigrant visas in FY 2024, and up to 3,000 immigrant visas in subsequent fiscal years, to qualifying employees of the U.S. Government abroad and their spouses and children, and the surviving spouses and children of certain deceased employees.  One requirement is that visa numbers are not otherwise available to these overseas employees under the Employment-Based Fourth (EB-4) preference category, which also allocates special immigrant visas for these employees.
Further, to qualify for these special immigrant visas, the foreign employees must have been employed by the U.S. Government abroad for at least 15 years. Further, the U.S. Department of State must have found that it is in the national interest to grant them visas.  Factors to consider include their length of Service,  their commitment and contribution to the U.S. interests, nature of employment, and whether they have been honorably discharged, etc.  
Family members, including their spouses and children, are also eligible for these special immigrant visas.  If an employee sacrificed their lives in the line of duty, their surviving family members are also eligible for these benefits. 
These special immigrants will be admitted via special GV visa codes, or GS in the case of surviving spouses and children.   Upon admission, these special immigrants are lawful permanent residents of the U.S.  As green card holders, they enjoy the regular benefits and privileges of U.S. permanent residents.  They are allowed to reside and legally work in the U.S. indefinitely. They may petition for their eligible family members.  They may also apply for American citizenship through the naturalization process after five years.
Unlike the regular EB visa preference category, allocation of special immigrant visas under NDAA is not subject to the per-country cap or controlled by the EB visa limits.  These special immigrant visas issued each year (up to 3,500 in FY 2024 and up to 3,000 in subsequent years) will be deducted from the number of diversity visas available in the following fiscal year.  
Section 5104 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2024 represents a pivotal step towards recognizing and supporting long-time U.S. foreign national employees and their families. By providing a pathway to immigrant visas, the provision acknowledges their invaluable contributions and offers tangible benefits that extend beyond service tenure. 


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We serve clients from all countries and walks of life from investors, professionals, skilled labourers, and people wishing to join their family members in the USA.

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Paul Szeto LLC.
190 State Route 27
No. Edison, NJ 08820 USA

Languages: English, Cantonese, Mandarin



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Bar Admissions:
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  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
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  • Middlesex County Bar Association
  • California Bar (inactive)
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