Employment-based Green Card
Many people become permanent residents through a job or offer of employment. Some categories require a certification from the U.S. Department of Labor to show that there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available in the geographic area where the immigrant is to be employed and that no American workers are displaced by foreign workers. In other cases, highly skilled workers, those with extraordinary ability in certain professions, and investors/entrepreneurs are given priority to immigrate through several immigrant categories. In all cases, the process involves several steps. Most of the employment based Green card categories are subject to annual numeric limitation.
We assist in the entire Green Card process in all the categories, including, where applicable, PERM processing, Labor Certifications, National Interest Waiver(NIW), Immigrant petition (I-140) filing and filing of Adjustment of Status (I-485) for employee and his/ her family members, if already in the US, or help through the National Visa Center and consular processing.
In employment based Green card cases, Spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21, (known as derivatives) may also be included on the immigration petition.
Green Card Through Self Petition
Some immigrant categories allow individuals to file for themselves (“self-petition”). This option is available for either “Aliens of Extraordinary Ability” in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics (EB-1 category), or certain individuals granted a National Interest Waiver - NIW (generally EB-2 category).
Green Card Through Investment (EB-5)
Green cards may be available to investors/entrepreneurs who are making an investment in an enterprise that creates new U.S. jobs (EB-5 category). Entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) who make an investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States and who plan to create or preserve at least ten permanent full time jobs for qualified United States workers, are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence). Up to 10,000 visas may be authorized each fiscal year for new eligible entrepreneurs. The investors/ entrepreneurs must invest $1,000,000, or at least $500,000 in a targeted employment area (high unemployment or rural area).
USCIS initially grants 2 years conditional permanent residence to the individual. Before the end of 2 years, the investor/ entrepreneur needs to apply to USCIS to remove the condition and grant permanent residence status.
Green Card Through a Job Offer
Individuals may be eligible to become a permanent resident based on an offer of permanent employment in the United States. Most categories require an employer to get a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor to show that there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available in the geographic area where the immigrant is to be employed and that no American workers are displaced by foreign workers. In other cases, highly skilled workers, those with extraordinary ability in certain professions, and investors/entrepreneurs are given priority to immigrate through several immigrant categories. In all cases, the process involves several steps.
These are the main categories of Employment-based Green Cards.
Employment-Based Immigration: First Preference ( EB-1)
This category is specifically designed for certain class of individuals with exceptional credentials possessing extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. It could be executives and managers; outstanding professors and
EB-1 has 3 subcategories
Extraordinary Ability Individuals : The individual must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. His/ her achievements must be recognized in your field through extensive documentation. No offer of employment is required. The individual must either provide evidence of a one-time achievement like Pulitzer, Oscar, Olympic Medal. or meet at least 3 of 10 criteria listed below, to prove extraordinary ability in your field:
· Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
· Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
· Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media
· Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
· Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
· Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
· Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
· Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
· Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
· Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts
Outstanding professors and researchers – The individual must demonstrate international recognition for his/ her outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. He/ she must have at least 3 years experience in teaching or research in that academic area. The individual must be entering the United States in order to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education and must include documentation of at least two of the evidence from the list below and an offer of employment from the prospective U.S. employer:
· Evidence of receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement
· Evidence of membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement
· Evidence of published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the academic field
· Evidence of participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field
· Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field
· Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field
Multinational Manager or Executive – The individual must have been employed outside the United States in the 3 years preceding the petition for at least 1 year by a firm or corporation must be seeking to enter the United States to continue service to that firm or organization. The individual’s employment must have been outside the United States in a managerial or executive capacity and with the same employer, an affiliate, or a subsidiary of the employer.
Employment-Based Immigration: Second Preference (EB-2)
This category is for skilled foreign professionals with an 'advanced degrees' (masters degree or higher) and lawfully employed by a U.S. company. Individuals with 'exceptional ability' in any subject of national interest of the US are also eligible and qualify for this category
Advanced degree - The job that the position is seeking to apply for must require an advanced degree and the individual must possess such a degree or its equivalent (a baccalaureate degree plus 5 years progressive work experience in the field). USCIS would require documentation, such as an official academic record showing that the individual has a U.S. advanced degree or a foreign equivalent degree, or in the alternative, an official academic record showing that he/ she has a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree and letters from current or former employers showing that he/ she has at least 5 years of progressive post-baccalaureate work experience in the specialty.
Exceptional Ability – The individual must be able to show exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability “means a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business, which can be satisfied by meeting at least 3 of the following criteria from the list below:
· Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability
· Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation
· A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation
· Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability
· Membership in a professional association(s)
· Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations
· Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.
Labor Certification or National Interest Waiver (NIW)
Employment-based, second-preference petitions must generally be accompanied by an approved individual labor certification from the Department of Labor.
Aliens who meet at least three of the criteria for exceptional ability listed above and can demonstrate that it is in the national interest that they work permanently in the United States may apply for National Interest Waiver (NIW) from the requirement of Labor Certification. Though the jobs that qualify for a national interest waiver are not defined by statute, national interest waivers are usually granted to those who have exceptional ability and whose employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation. Those seeking a national interest waiver may self-petition (they do not need an employer to sponsor them) and may file their labor certification directly with USCIS.
Employment-Based Immigration: Third Preference (EB-3)
This category is for skilled foreign professionals with a U.S. bachelor's degree and an offer for lawful employment by a U.S. employer. Skilled workers with at least two years of training or experience and unskilled workers with less than two years training or experience qualify under this category. An individual may be eligible for this immigrant visa preference category if he/ she is a skilled worker, professional, or other worker.
· “Skilled workers” are persons whose job requires a minimum of 2 years training or work experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature The individual must be able to demonstrate at least 2 years of job experience or training and must be performing work for which qualified workers are not available in the United States
· “Professionals” are persons whose job requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent and are a member of the professions. They must be able to demonstrate that they possess a U.S. baccalaureate degree or foreign degree equivalent, and that a baccalaureate degree is the normal requirement for entry into the occupation They must be performing work for which qualified workers are not available in the United States. Education and experience may not be substituted for a baccalaureate degree
· The “other workers” subcategory is for persons performing unskilled labor requiring less than 2 years training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature. They must be capable, at the time the petition is filed on their behalf, of performing unskilled labor (requiring less than 2 years training or experience), that is not of a temporary or seasonal nature, for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.
Third preference petitions must generally be accompanied by an approved, individual labor certification from the Department of Labor.
Employment-Based Immigration: Fourth Preference (EB-4)
Individuals may be eligible for an employment-based, fourth preference visa if they fall in the category of a special immigrant. The following special immigrants are eligible for the fourth preference visa: Religious Workers, Broadcasters, Iraqi/Afghan Translators, Iraqis Who Have Assisted the United States, International Organization Employees, Physicians, Armed Forces Members, Panama Canal Zone Employees, Retired NATO-6 employees and Spouses and Children of Deceased NATO-6 employees.
To petition for an employment-based fourth preference immigrant, individual’s employer must file a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. However, there are certain situations where the individual, the employee, may self-petition on his/ her own behalf.
Green Card Through Investment (EB-5)
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