US Laws: Obtaining a Green Card Through Employment

by zizinya on March 7, 2013

(US immigration considerations) Getting a green card is often a task that an individual undertakes on their own, but there is actually another process in which a person can get a green card in connection with an employment opportunity. Employers can actually petition the government for a green card on behalf of an immigrant if they wish to hire that person. There are, however, numerous rules related to this process.

Prerequisites to an Employer-Sponsored Green Card

The government will only grant an employer-sponsored green card after that employer has done an immense amount of work. Employers must use Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) to prove that they’ve made the job that’s being offered to an immigrant available to the American public.

An employer must prove that they’ve made legitimate efforts in having a job opening filled by an American worker. Once an individual can prove that no American worker would accept the job offer at the wages offered, the employer can move on with applying for their potential worker’s green card.

Filing the Paperwork

Once an employer submits their PERM application and it’s approved by the government, they must file form I-140. This is the Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. This form goes to proving to the government that the company can actually afford the salary that they’re offering an immigrant. The employer, however, isn’t the only who has a bit of work to do.

The immigrant who is hoping to get an employer-sponsored green card will have to file an I-485 form. This is the Application to Adjust Status. Potential green card holders also have the option of speaking with the U.S. consulate in their home country if they wish to secure their green card in this fashion.

Prioritized Green Cards

The employer-sponsored green card process is already difficult for some people since the government only gives out a certain amount each year. Unfortunately, it becomes even more difficult for some since certain immigrants take priority when it comes to this process.

Immigrants with exceptional skills or talents can get a green card without an employer sponsor by filling out the EB-1, the First Preference Immigration Petition. “Exceptional skills or talents” usually relate to professionals who excel in their chosen field and are recognized throughout the world for their skills.

Professionals such as professors, executives and researchers can also fill out the aforementioned form for preferential treatment. It’s important to note, however, that they will usually need a permanent job offer and an employer who will file the I-140 petition on their behalf. The EB-1 form basically takes the PERM process off the table.

While getting a green card can be a difficult process for anyone, the steps involved with an employer-sponsored green card are especially complex. Most individuals will do well to hire an attorney to help this process along. Not many immigration processes take as much time and effort on the parts of multiple people as an employer-sponsored green card, so legal assistance is vital.

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