Getting a Green Card Via Employment
An immigrant is a foreign national who has been authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. To become an immigrant based on having a permanent employment opportunity in the United States, or an employer that wants to sponsor someone for lawful permanent residency based on permanent employment in the United States, you must go through a multi-step process. We handle these cases all the time.
First, foreign nationals and employers must determine if the foreign national is eligible for lawful permanent residency under one of USCIS' paths to lawful permanent residency.
Second, most employment categories require that the U.S. employer complete a labor certification request (Form ETA 750) for the applicant, and submit it to the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration. Labor must either grant or deny the certification request. Qualified alien physicians who will practice medicine in an area of the United States which has been certified as underserved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are relieved from this requirement.
Third, USCIS must approve an immigrant visa petition, Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, for the person wishing to immigrate to the United States. The employer wishing to bring the applicant to the United States to work permanently files this petition. However, if a Department of Labor certification is needed the application can only be filed after the certification is granted. The employer acts as the sponsor (or petitioner) for the applicant (or beneficiary) who wants to live and work on a permanent basis in the United States.
Fourth, the State Department must give the applicant an immigrant visa number, even if the applicant is already in the United States. When the applicant receives an immigrant visa number, it means that an immigrant visa has been assigned to the applicant.
Fifth, if the applicant is already in the United States, he or she must apply to adjust to permanent resident status after a visa number becomes available. If the applicant is outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, they will be notified and must complete the process at their local U.S. consulate office.
Green Card Eligibility
There are five categories for granting permanent residence to foreign nationals based on employment skills.
EB-1 Priority workers
Aliens with extraordinary ability are those with “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation.” You must be one of “that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor,” to be granted this classification.
EB-2 Professionals with advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability
This includes aliens who are “members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent” and aliens “who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the United States.”
EB-3 Skilled or professional workers
To qualify as an EB-4 you must be a:
• Foreign national professionals with bachelor's degrees (not qualifying for a higher preference category)
• Foreign national skilled workers (minimum two years training and experience)
• Foreign national unskilled workers
EB-4 Special Immigrants
To qualify as an EB-4 special immigrant religious worker, you must be a member of a religious denomination that has a non-profit religious organization in the United States. You must have been a member of this religious denomination for at least two years before applying for admission to the United States.
EB-5 Immigrant Investors
Permanent resident status based on EB-5 eligibility is available to investors, either alone or coming with their spouse and unmarried children. Eligible aliens are those who have invested — or are actively in the process of investing — the required amount of capital into a new commercial enterprise that they have established. They must further demonstrate that this investment will benefit the United States economy and create the requisite number of full-time jobs for qualified persons within the United States.
To learn more about EB-5 Immigrant Investors PRESS HERE.
If you are serious about getting legal assistance a consultation is the best place to start. Spend up to a full hour with an immigration attorney to discuss the details of your case, get answers to your questions, work through complex issues and supporting documents and plan an immigration strategy for obtaining benefits.