As a working professional you may qualify for a green card by receiving a job offer from a United States employer. Once you are approved for an employer sponsored green card, you are eligible to receive a full 10-year green card. Getting an employer sponsored green card is a three step process:
- Immigration law seeks to protect the interests, wages and working conditions of the US workforce. Therefore, before you immigrate to the US, the Department of Labor (DOL) must certify that there is a shortage of qualified workers.
- This process requires the employer to test the US labor market to see if there are any qualified US workers to fill the position that they are offering the employee.
- The employer must make a good-faith effort to hire a qualified US worker by advertising the job opportunity that is available and by considering the qualifications of all US applicants.
- The employer must get a prevailing wage determination from the Nation Prevailing Wage Center.
- Processing Time: Once the labor certification application is filed it should take about 2-3 months to process. If the DOL audits the application, the processing time can extend to about 7 months.
- Once the employer has an approved labor certification application, you can proceed with the next step which is to file the immigrant visa petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Processing time: After the petition is filed it takes about 5-8 months to process. If a request for evidence is issued, this process can be extended another 3-6 months.
Adjustment of Status or Immigrant Visa Processing
- Once the immigrant visa petition is approved by USCIS the next step is to either adjust status in the United States or apply for an immigrant visa in the employee’s home country.
- If employee files for adjustment of status a work permit will be issued in 4-6 months
- Processing time: Adjustment of status takes 6-8 months. Immigrant visa processing takes 5-7 months.
- Employer must be based in the United States
- The position must be a permanent, full-time position (at least 35 hours per week)
- The position must be a bona-fide job opportunity
- The employer must make a good-faith effort to hire a qualified US worker
- The job requirements cannot be tailored to the foreign national’s qualifications
- The employer must pay employee at prevailing wage
- The employer must prove its ability to pay the prevailing wage
- The employee must meet the qualifications for the position offered
- The employee must meet the education and experience requirements for the intended visa category
- The employee cannot be inadmissible to the United States
- The employee must have good-faith intent to work for the employer
General list of some documents that will be needed (please note this is not an exhaustive list):
- Employee’s resume or CV
- Copies of employee’s diplomas, degrees and transcripts (if applicable)
- Employee’s work experience letters
- Employee’s birth certificate
- Employee’s passport
- Employee’s marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Employee’s children’s birth certificate (if applicable)
- Employer’s tax returns
- Job description of position
- Employer’s financials