There are a number of employment-based routes to gaining permanent resident status in the United States, also referred to as getting a green card. Residency status is administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Typically, USCIS requires that an employer intends to hire the applicant to fill a position in the United States on a long-term basis. Note, though, that the employer need not necessarily be a U.S. company. The employer must usually file documents to sponsor the foreign employee’s application for permanent residency and must secure approval from either USCIS or the U.S. Department of Labor, depending on the circumstances of the case. The green card applicant may in some cases successfully self-sponsor or proceed without an employer-sponsor.
In most cases, there are three steps in the process of obtaining a green card via employment in the U.S. First, the applicant must complete labor certification using the Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) system. Second, the applicant’s employer must file an immigrant petition on behalf of the applicant. That document is filed with USCIS. Third, following completion of the first two steps, the foreign employee can apply for consular processing or adjustment of status to secure his or her green card. For more information on the process, review the following:
- Step One: PERM Labor Certification
- Step Two: How to Fill Out Form I-140
- Step Three: How to Complete Adjustment of Status
Employment-Based Green Card Requirements
USCIS divides employment-based applications for permanent residency into five categories based on preference. Applicants are not required to complete PERM Labor Certification if they qualify for first preference, for example. Outstanding professors and researchers, multinational executives and individuals who can provide evidence of extraordinary ability may file a Employment-Based Immigration: First Preference EB-1 petition. Many EB-1 petitions do not require employer sponsorship. For exntensive information on EB-1 visa types, please read:
Most immigration cases based on EB-2 and EB-3 petitions require both PERM certification and employer sponsorship. Individuals who hold advanced degrees may be eligible for an EB-2 visa. Foreign nationals who qualify as professionals or skilled workers, as well as unskilled workers in certain jobs, can file EB-3 petitions.For more information on these employment-based visas, please review:
No PERM certification is required in EB-4 or EB-5 cases. To qualify for an EB-4 visa, the foreign employee must meet the USCIS definition of a special immigrant. A number of professions and special groups are included. The EB-5 category is open to foreign nationals who intend to invest in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. For more details on these visas, visit:
We Are Ready to Assist You
The green card process can be cumbersome and confusing, for employers and foreign workers alike. The immigration attorneys at KPPB Law have experience in employment-based immigration cases; including assisting clients in pursuing an employment-based green card under any EB preference category. We are familiar with the PERM certification process as well as the other visa requirements. Our firm may be able to help employers and foreign workers by drafting and filing the proper legal documents or by interacting with USCIS on their behalf.
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We offer free initial consultations by phone or at our office so that you can discuss your options with an attorney and make the best decision moving forward. Our attorneys work to develop strategies and present options based on the client’s goals and circumstances. Call our firm or, contact our attorneys online to set up your free consultation today!