Employment-Based Immigrant Visas (Green Cards)
One way of applying for a green card to live in the United States indefinitely is through employment-based immigration. To obtain permanent residence based on employment, an individual must usually first go through a “labor certification” process. This process requires a specific job offer and a demonstration that no U.S. workers are available to do the job. There are currently four types of workers that are exempt from labor certification in connection with pursuing permanent residence through work and employment: (1) multinational executives/managers; (2) outstanding professors or researchers; (3) individuals of extraordinary ability and (4) individuals that possess an advanced degree or have exceptional ability AND whose presence in the US is deemed to be in the “national interest.”
There are five categories, as follows:
An employer who is willing to sponsor an alien for one of these categories must follow the following process for the alien to receive his or her green card:
- Obtain an approved Labor Certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (requirement waived for certain preference categories as discussed above);
- Have an approved employment-based I-140 petition from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”);
- Have a current priority date based on the Visa Bulletin issued by the U.S. Department of State; and
- The priority date of the petition depends on the preference category. It can be thought of as a waiting period based on the employment-based category.
- Apply for an immigrant visa with the U.S. Department of State if outside the United States, or for adjustment of status if in the United States.
Those who entered without inspection, who have been out-of-status for more than 180 days, who have removal/deportation orders, and/or who have or had criminal problems may not be eligible for an immigrant visa or for adjustment of status in the United States. As a result, it is extremely important to contact us or schedule an initial consultation to discuss your particular case.
Please also visit the rest of our website to see other ways to obtain a green card to live in the United States.