Are You Eligible for an Employment-Based Green Card?
You may have a US employer who is willing to petition you for permanent residence. In this case, most applicants are usually already in the US on a valid temporary work visa such as on an L1 Visa or an H-1B Visa. Approximately 140,000 immigrant visas are available each year for newcomers who seek to immigrate based on their job skills. If you have the right combination of skills, education, and/or work experience and are otherwise eligible, you may be able to live permanently in the US. These Green Card applications are called Employment-Based Visa’s also known as EB Visas and usually involve filing an I-140 application to the Service Centre located in the jurisdiction of the place of employment.
Types of Employment-Based Petitions
Employment-based petitions are broken down into five categories: EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4, and EB-5. Each category is made up of sub-categories that describe the kinds of occupations that qualify for the specific visa.
EB-1: Priority Workers
- Persons with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics
- Outstanding professors and researchers
- Multinational managers or executives.
EB-2: Professionals and Persons of Exceptional Ability
- Professionals holding an advanced degree
- Persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
EB-3: Skilled and Unskilled Workers and Professionals
- Skilled workers
- Unskilled workers
EB-4: Certain Special Immigrants
Many subgroups, including:
- Ministers of religion
- Certain Retired International Organization Employees
- Persons Recruited Outside of the United States Who Have Served or are Enlisted to Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces
EB-5: Immigrant Investors
This visa category is for capital investment by foreign investors in new commercial enterprises in the United States which provide U.S. job creation. Learn more about the EB-5 visa process here.
The 4 Steps to Applying for an EB Visa
There are specific steps to follow in order for a U.S. employer to successfully petition a foreign worker to become a permanent U.S. resident. These are:
- Employer or agent obtains a labor certification approval
- Employer files petition with USCIS
- USCIS sends petition to the National Visa Center (NVC)
- Immigrant applies for an immigrant visa or Green Card
1: Employer or agent obtains labor certification approval
For most employment categories, the sponsoring employer must get a labor certification approval from the Department of Labor which certifies that no qualified U.S. workers are available or willing to do the job that the immigrant will be hired to do.
2: Employer files petition with USCIS
If the labor certification is approved, the employer then needs to file Form I-140, the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the appropriate employment-based preference category. Individuals from the E-B1 category have the opportunity to file their own petitions.
3: USCIS sends petition to the National Visa Center
Once the petition is approved by USCIS, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC), who will begin pre-processing the applicant’s case.
4: Immigrant applies for an immigrant visa or Green Card
the applicant’s prospective employer or agent must first obtain a labor certification approval from the Department of Labor. Once received (if required), the employer then files an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the appropriate employment-based preference category. (NOTE: Persons with extraordinary abilities in the Employment First preference category are able to file their own petitions.) If the applicant is already in the U.S., he or she could apply for an Adjustment of Status. Otherwise, the applicant would go through the process of getting a visa through an embassy or consulate.
Why Legal Help for Employment Sponsorship is Important
In order to be successful with the employment-based immigration procedure, many pieces of the puzzle need to fit into place. For most people, it is overwhelming to ensure that all the steps are properly met without the help of a legal expert. With an opportunity to obtain a Green Card through employment, why squander your chances by attempting to complete the complicated process on your own? With guidance and preparation from an immigration lawyer, your chances of success are significantly increased.
Why Hire Us to Assist an Employment-Based Petition Case?
The path towards obtaining a Green Card through an employment-based petition is an opportunity not to be squandered. Having our experienced staff guide you through the process greatly increases your chances at becoming a U.S. permanent resident. We have helped thousands of individuals to successfully get U.S. permanent residence through employment-based petitions, and we can help you too!
The first step towards a successful employment-based immigration bid is getting an assessment of your case. Fill out our immigration assessment form and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and options.