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Employment Based Green Card

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Family based Green Card and employment based Green Card are the two most common ways of green card(permanent residence in United Statess). Other ways of getting green card include political asylum, refugee, adoption and diversity lottery.

For most employment based green card categories, the visa sponsor(employer) starts the process by filing a permanent labor certification(LC) with the Department of Labor under PERM system. The certification needs to show that no qualified US workers are available or willing to do the described job duties that the beneficiary(foreign worker) is qualified and willing to perform. The proof includes job advertisements, skill requirements, prevailing wage, foreign worker background and the employer's ability to pay.

After the labor certification(LC) is approved, the visa sponsor(employer) can file Form I-140(Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker). If I-140 is approved, and the priority date is current, the employer can file Form I-485(Adjustment of Status).

Form I-140 and Form I-485 could be file con-currently if priority date is current.

PERM Labor Certification:

Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) is the system used for obtaining labor certification and is the first step for certain foreign nationals in obtaining an employment-based immigrant visa (“green card”). This is also known as PERM labor certification. The employment-based preference categories that require PERM labor certification are EB-2 (other than a National Interest Waiver) and EB-3.

PERM took effect on March 28, 2005 and all labor certifications submitted after March 28, 2005 must be filed using the PERM process. Since March 28, 2005 traditional labor certification (ETA Form 750) and Reduction in Recruiting (RIR) have NO LONGER been applicable to new filings.

The Labor Certification requirement is waived for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) petition under EB-2 and is not required for any EB-1, EB-4, or EB-5 petitions. For more information about NIWs, please click here.

Preference Categories

  1. EB-1 (Priority Workers):

    • Persons with extraordinary ability in their field.
    • Outstanding professors and researchers.
    • Multinational executives and managers.
  2. EB-2 (Advanced Degree Holders and Exceptional Ability):

    • Professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability.
    • National Interest Waiver (NIW) applicants.
  3. EB-3 (Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers):

    • Skilled workers with at least two years of job experience or training.
    • Professionals with a degree.
    • Other workers (unskilled workers) with less than two years of job experience or training.
  4. EB-4 (Special Immigrants):

    • Certain religious workers.
    • Employees and former employees of the U.S. government abroad.
  5. EB-5 (Investors):

    • Immigrant investors who create jobs for U.S. workers by investing in a new commercial enterprise.

PERM process:

1. Job Advertisement: Before filing a PERM application, the employer is required to test the U.S. labor market to ensure that there are no qualified and willing U.S. workers available for the position. This typically involves advertising the job in various media outlets.

2. Prevailing Wage Determination: The employer must obtain a prevailing wage determination from the DOL. This determines the minimum wage that must be offered to the foreign worker based on the job's location and requirements.

3. PERM Application: Once the recruitment process is complete and there are no qualified U.S. workers available, the employer can file a PERM application with the DOL. The application includes details about the job, the recruitment process, and the qualifications of the foreign worker.

4. DOL Review: The DOL reviews the PERM application to ensure that all requirements have been met. This includes verifying that the recruitment process was conducted properly and that the offered wage meets the prevailing wage determination.

5. Certification: If the DOL approves the PERM application, they issue a certification. This certification is then used by the employer to support the immigrant petition (Form I-140) filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

6. Immigrant Petition (I-140): After obtaining the PERM certification, the employer files an immigrant petition (Form I-140) with USCIS. This petition is aimed at establishing the foreign worker's eligibility for an employment-based green card.

7. Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing: Once the I-140 petition is approved, the foreign worker can proceed with either adjusting their status to that of a permanent resident if they are already in the U.S., or undergo consular processing if they are abroad.

It's important to note that the PERM process is a critical step in the employment-based green card application process, and it requires careful adherence to regulatory requirements and timelines. Additionally, the entire process can take several months to complete.