Achieving permanent residence in the United States via a green card can be done in a number of ways, including through employment based green cards. Typically, an employer must petition on behalf of an applicant so that the foreign national can fill a position with the company. From there, the employer sponsors the application for permanent residency and awaits a decision from either USCIS or the Department of Labor. While each type of employment visa is different, the application process for an employment based green card remains the same.
Employment Based Green Card Application Process
In almost all cases, there are three steps to overcome in obtaining an employment based green card. The first is the PERM Labor Certification. During this process, the employer must fulfill certain criteria to ensure that the foreign worker is not displacing US citizen workers. This includes posting the job opening that the foreign national would like to fill in a visible place for other potential applicants to see and reviewing resumes to see if any other applicants may qualify for the job. If the foreign national is the only one who qualifies, the process moves to the second step.
At this point, an I-140 must be filed; this is the immigrant petition that the employer files on behalf of the employee in pursuit of legal permanent residence. Once the I-140 has been processed, an adjustment of status can begin. The adjustment of status (often referred to simply as AoS) requires a number of forms for each person who is adjusting, which are then sent for review and—hopefully—approval.
Each visa has separate requirements on the path to a green card. EB-1 visas for outstanding professionals and executives do not require a PERM if they qualify for first preference (that is if they can prove that they are outstanding in their skills or knowledge). Some EB-1s do not require employer sponsorship depending on the type of work being done.
EB-2 and EB-3 visas (for advanced degree holders and skilled workers, respectively) must file a PERM as normal. However, a PERM is not required for EB-4 and EB-5 visas for special immigrants and investors. Each of these categories contains further nuance that is unique to the individual’s situation, so it is important to work with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure that the process of obtaining a green card goes smoothly.
Reach Out To An Experienced Immigration Attorney
If you would like to begin the process of acquiring a green card to live in the United States permanently, get in touch with The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge. We can assist you in compiling a thorough and compelling adjustment of status petition and work with your employer to ensure that your PERM certification process is completed according to the strict timeframes required.
An adjustment of status can seem like a daunting task, but with the help of a knowledgeable immigration lawyer, the process will become much simpler and you can focus on making plans for your future. Please give us a call at 703.273.5500 or request a consultation online.