Employment Based Green Cards

Employment Based Green Cards

U.S. immigration laws permit an person to get a green card through employment if the employer is unable to find a qualified U.S. worker for the job. We represent hundreds o employers across the US, assisting them in sponsoring employees for both temporary working visas and green cards.

 

US immigration law allows 140,000 persons annually to obtain a green card through employment. This number includes both the principal worker and immediate family members (spouse and unmarried children). 

Before an EB-2 or EB-3 preference petition on behalf of a prospective immigrant can be submitted to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), an employer must obtain the approval of a PERM application from the US Department of Labor. 

This represents a determination by the Secretary of Labor that no minimally-qualified US workers are ready, willing and able to fill the job, and that the employment of an immigrant will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of US workers.

Persons born in a particular country cannot use more than 7% of the quota in any of the 5 employment-based (EB) categories. This has led to long backlogs in the EB categories for persons born in India, mainland China and the Philippines.

Before an EB-2 or EB-3 preference petition on behalf of a prospective immigrant can be submitted to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), an employer must obtain the approval of a PERM application from the US Department of Labor. 

This represents a determination by the Secretary of Labor that no minimally-qualified US workers are ready, willing and able to fill the job, and that the employment of an immigrant will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of US workers.

Employment-based first preference (EB-1)

Priority workers comprising aliens with extraordinary abilities, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multi-national executives and managers. 

EB-1 Employment Based First Preference  FAQs

Who can get an EB-1 green card?

There are three EB-1 First Preference green card types: EB-1(a) – Extraordinary Ability; EB-1(b) – Outstanding Professor/Researcher; and EB-1(c) – Multinational Manager or Executive.

What is required to show Extraordinary Ability?

You must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. In order to apply for this category, you must be able to show 3 out of the 10 listed criteria below:

  • 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.

Who can qualify as an outstanding professor or researcher?

You must demonstrate international recognition for your outstanding achievements in a particular academic field and have at least 3 years’ experience in teaching or research in that academic area. In addition show that you are entering the United States in order to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or a comparable research position at a university, institution of higher education, or private employer. Finally you must have an offer of employment from a qualified institution and you must show 2 out of the following 6 criteria:

  • 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.

What are the requirements for a multinational manager or executive?

You must have been employed outside the United States for at least 1 year in the 3 years preceding the petition or the most recent lawful nonimmigrant admission if you are already working for the U.S. petitioning employer, as a manager or executive. The U.S. petitioner must have been doing business for at least 1 year, have a qualifying relationship to the entity you worked for outside the U.S., and intend to employ you in a managerial or executive capacity. 

Employment-based second preference (EB-2)

Members of the professions with advanced degrees or the equivalent or aliens of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business. ‘Advanced degree’ means any U.S. academic or professional degree or a foreign equivalent degree above that of a bachelor’s degree. A U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree followed by at least five years of progressive experience in the specialty shall be considered the equivalent of a master’s degree.

FAQs

How do I qualify under the advanced degree requirement?

 

The job you apply for must require an advanced degree and you must possess such a degree or its foreign equivalent (a baccalaureate or foreign equivalent degree plus 5 years of post-baccalaureate, progressive work experience in the field). You must meet any other requirements specified on the labor certification as applicable.

 

How do I show Exceptional Ability?

 

  • 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.

 

Do you need a labor certification for an EB-2 green card?

 

Employment-based, second-preference petitions must usually be accompanied by an approved Application for Permanent Employment Certification from the Department of Labor on ETA Form 9089, however, you may request a waiver of this requirement for a National Interest Waiver case.

How do I get a National Interest Waiver?

You must show:

  • The proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance.
  • You are well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.
  • It would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer, and thus the labor certification.
Employment-based third preference (EB-3)

professionals, skilled workers (jobs requiring two years or more training or experience), or unskilled workers (jobs requiring less than two years training or experience).

EB-3 Employee Based Third Preference – FAQ

EB-3 employment based immigrant visas are available to skilled workers, professionals, or other workers. You must have a permanent, full-time job offer from an employer in the U.S.

What is a skilled worker?

 “Skilled workers” are persons whose jobs require a minimum of 2 years training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature. The skilled worker must meet the educational, training, or experience requirements of the job opportunity. Relevant post-secondary education may be considered as training.

What is a professional?

“Professionals” are persons whose job requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate or foreign equivalent degree and are a member of the professions.

What is defined as an “other worker”?

The “other workers” subcategory is for persons performing unskilled labor requiring less than 2 years training, education, or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature.

Do I need a labor certification for an EB-3 visa?

Third preference petitions must generally be accompanied by an approved, individual labor certification from the Department of Labor on Form ETA-9089. 

How do I apply for an EB-3 visa?

Your employer (petitioner) must file a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. As part of the application process, your employer must be able to demonstrate a continuing ability to pay the offered wage as of the priority date. Your employer may use an annual report, federal income tax return, or audited financial statement to demonstrate a continuing ability to pay your wage.

What is the application process?

All employment based green card categories require the submission of a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.  For EB-1(a) you may petition for yourself and for EB-1(b) and EB-1(c) your employer must file the form.

The green card process is either through an adjustment of status (AOS) to permanent residence or consular processing for an immigrant visa. The AOS process includes filing form I-485 with USCIS. If approved, the applicant (and any eligible family members) adjust status to that of a permanent resident from within the United States.

Consular processing for an immigrant visa involves a visa application at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate for applicants outside the United States. This process requires a prior USCIS approval, processed through the National Visa Center, followed by a scheduled immigrant visa interview at the appropriate consulate. The immigrant visa permits travel to and admission into the United States as a permanent resident.

Can my family members apply?

The beneficiary and his or her family (spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21) may all apply for an employment based green card.

Special Immigrant Visas for Religious Workers (EB-4)

An EB-4 Immigrant Visa is a green card for religious workers.

EB-4 Special Immigrant Visas for Religious Workers FAQ’s:

How do I qualify for an EB-4 visa?

To qualify you must:

  1. Have been a member of a religious denomination that has a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least 2 years immediately before the filing with USCIS.
  2. Seek to enter the United States to work in a full time, compensated position in one of the following occupations:
    • Solely as a minister of that religious denomination;
    • A religious vocation either in a professional or nonprofessional capacity; or
    • A religious occupation either in a professional or nonprofessional capacity.
  3. Be coming to work for either:
    • A bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States; or
    • A bona fide organization that is affiliated with the religious denomination in the United States.
  4. Have been working in one of the positions described above after the age of 14, either abroad or in the United States, continuously for at least 2 years immediately before the filing of a petition with USCIS. The prior religious work need not correspond precisely to the type of work to be performed. A break in the continuity of the work during the preceding two years will not affect eligibility so long as:
    • The alien was still employed as a religious worker;
    • The break did not exceed 2 years; and
    • The nature of the break was for further religious training or for sabbatical. However, the alien must have been a member of the petitioner’s denomination throughout the 2 years of qualifying employment.
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