Obtaining a Green Card Through Employment in Santa Ana
Serving Both Employers and Workers
Lawful permanent residence (also known as a “green card”) allows a person to reside and work in the U.S. permanently. If you are applying for a green card from outside the U.S., you will need to obtain an immigrant visa through consular processing, and this visa is what will allow you to enter the U.S. as a permanent resident. If you are already in the U.S. lawfully, you can use the adjustment of status process to obtain a green card from within the U.S., but you will generally need to wait for a visa to become available in your category.
Obtaining a green card through employment is a difficult and complex process, but our team at the U.S. Immigration Law Group, LLP is here to help you assess your options and successfully complete every step. We have more than 65 years of experience, during which we have obtained 300+ work visas and 2500+ green cards for our clients. To maximize your likelihood of becoming a permanent resident through work (or obtaining a green card for your employee), get in touch with us right away.
How to Become a Permanent Resident Through Employment
There are several ways to obtain a green card through work. The most common method is through sponsorship by a U.S. employer, in which the employer files an immigrant petition on your behalf. This is why you typically must have a bona fide job offer before applying. In most cases, employer sponsorship involves a highly regulated, employer-driven process known as Labor Certification, or PERM.
Labor Certification requires the employer to conduct real-world recruitment to test the labor market, ensuring that:
- There are no available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers to fill the position; and
- The employment will not have an adverse effect on the wages and working conditions of similarly situated U.S. workers.
The Labor Certification process can be long and tedious, requiring the careful completion of several steps before USCIS will issue the green card.
The amount of time it will take for you to become a permanent resident will depend on many factors, including:
- The level of education and experience required for the job
- Your country of birth
- Government backlogs at various stages
- The completeness and accuracy of your documentation
Our extensive experience in this area allows us to guide employers and employees through this process, avoiding major mine fields and arriving at the ultimate goal of lawful permanent residence.
Options That Avoid Labor Certification
Some employment-related categories do not require Labor Certification.
You may qualify for one of these categories if:
- You possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. To prove extraordinary ability, you must provide extensive documentation and be able to reference sustained national or international acclaim. You must also intend to continue working in your chosen field, which will provide substantial benefits to the United States. The government will accept a one-time receipt of a major international award (such as a Nobel Prize) or other evidence to show that you are one of the few to have risen to the top of your field. This category does not require you to have a prospective employer.
- You are an outstanding professor and/or researcher. To qualify, you must be coming for a tenure or tenure-track position, or for a comparable position at a university, institute, or with a private employer to conduct research. You must have a minimum of three years’ experience in teaching or research, and you must be recognized internationally in an academic discipline. While no labor certification is required, you must have an offer of ongoing employment from the sponsoring employer.
- You are a multinational executive or manager. This category is reserved for those who have been employed abroad in a managerial or executive capacity with a parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the U.S. company for one year in the last three years. You must be coming to the U.S. to work in a managerial or executive capacity. Even though no labor certification is required, you must have an offer of ongoing employment from the sponsoring employer.
- You have exceptional ability or an advanced degree in the arts, sciences, or business. Exceptional ability is a level of expertise beyond that which is normally found in the profession, and it must substantially benefit the national economy or culture. While no labor certification is required, there must be an offer of ongoing employment from the sponsoring employer. You may be able to waive this requirement by obtaining a national interest waiver.
- You create job opportunities in the U.S. through investment. Conditional green cards are available to those who invest a certain amount of capital in a qualifying U.S. commercial enterprise, creating at least 10 full-time jobs for American workers in the process. The investment minimum depends on whether or not the business is in a targeted employment area. You will need to apply to remove the conditions on your permanent residence after two years.
- You are a religious worker. To qualify for this category, you must have been working for at least two years as a religious minister, in a religious vocation, or in a religious occupation, and you will continue to carry out such religious work of the employer’s denomination.
Interpreting the requirements of each category can be a challenge, which is why our attorneys are here to help you understand everything you need to know about employment-based green cards and related processes.
Let’s get started on your permanent residence process today. Schedule your initial consultation in-person, over the phone, or via video conference by contacting us online or calling (714) 786-1166 today.
Need guidance on an immigration issue for you or a loved one? You can call today at (714) 786-1166, fill out the form below or follow the link to schedule a consultation