How to get a Green Card through an employer (EB2/EB3)

In this post, we discuss how you can get a green card through your employer.


What does it take to get a green card through a job offer?

There are many ways a foreign national can obtain a green card for example by starting a company in the United States, as an entrepreneur, or demonstrating that they are a person of exceptional ability. However, the most common way to obtain a green card is to obtain a green card through a job offer. Essentially being sponsored by the employer that they are currently working for in the United States or their future employer. This process involves several steps:

  1. The Employer Must Commit to Green Card Sponsorship

The employer must commit to giving you a permanent job offer and be willing to support you in the green card process from start to finish. This is because the employer must not only sign the forms required to petition for the worker’s green card but must also foot the bill including the immigration fees and attorney’s fees. If an employer does not understand his responsibilities in filing for the worker’s green card, delays can result, and in some cases an employer may abandon the green card process altogether. It is very important for an employer to be aware of their obligations at the outset of the application process.

  1. Labor Certification/PERM

Once the employer commits and demonstrates their willingness to go through with the application, the next step is to file a labor certification application with the Department of Labor. This process is also known as “PERM.” During this process the employer must prove that there are no U.S. Citizen workers who are qualified to do the job.

  1. Filing the I-140 Petition

Once the labor application has been certified by the Department of Labor, the next step is to file Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. The employer must prove financial ability to pay the worker’s wages, show that the employee is qualified to work in the position, etc. There are different immigrant categories for employment-based sponsorship of an alien worker. The EB-3 category for example can apply to skilled workers, professionals, or nonskilled workers. Skilled workers are those whose job requires a minimum of 2 years training or work experience, that is not of a temporary or seasonal nature. Professionals are those whose job requires at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.  Nonskilled workers are those who perform unskilled labor that requires less than 2 years training or work experience, that is not of a temporary or seasonal nature.

  1. Filing the I-485 Petition

Before filing under an immigrant category, it is important to look at the visa bulletin to see whether there are current numbers (or available immigrant visas) to file for adjustment of status. If there are no available visas, then you will need to wait to adjust your status until there are available visas. If there are available visa numbers, then the employer can file the I-485 and I-140 applications concurrently.

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