GETTING A US GREEN CARD THROUGH EMPLOYMENT.
Changes to the American immigration systemIn the wake of the recent ongoing debate on the proposed changes to the American immigration system and Green card applications under the Reformed American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) act, there has been a renewed interest on the subject of green card applications and the criteria for the same. The RAISE act has yet to be passed by the US Congress into law. Until then the prevailing process for green card applications will continue. There are mainly three categories under which a person can file a green card application.
- As an immediate family member of a green card applicant
- By being sponsored by an employer for green card
- Through green card lottery system
Filing Green card application through employment sponsorshipA green card is an official document provided by the US government to non citizens, which allows them to stay on in the USA on a permanent basis. The green card allows a person to live, work and study in the US. Obtaining an employment based green card requires an employer sponsor your application and involves multiple steps. The process for green card application under employment sponsorship is as follows.
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The employer determines the eligibility of the alien worker for getting a green card.The category under which the employer can file the green card application for the worker. The different categories under which the employer can file green card application are
- EB1: This category is reserved for priority workers, who either, demonstrate exceptional talent in the field of science, arts, education, business, athletics or are outstanding in the field of academics or are managers and executives who are required to travel frequently to the United States.
- EB2: This category is reserved for professionals who have an advanced degree or who demonstrate exceptional ability in the field of science, arts or business
- EB3: This category is available for all other alien workers including, skilled workers, professionals holding bachelor's degrees and unskilled workers.
The employer files a labor certification with the department of labor.Indicating that no US citizen or lawful permanent resident was found who could qualify for the position that would be filled by the employee. In order to show sufficient proof of the same, the employer needs to advertise for the position in local listings and online job boards. The labor certification can be filed through an electronic program known as PERM.
On approval of the labor certificate, the employer files form 1-140 with the USCIS on behalf of the employee.If the employee is outside of US and intends to come to the US to take up a permanent full-time job offer with the employer, then the employer has to file form I-140, which is an employment based petition for immigration on behalf of the employee. The employee then has to go for consular processing for green card application at a consulate in the country at which the employee is currently residing. In case the employee is already in the US on a dual intent visa such as H1B, the employer has to first both I-485 for adjustment of status as well as I-140 for immigration.
Getting an immigrant visa number.The applicant gets an immigrant visa number from the department of state, when his priority date, which is determined by the order of preference based on factors such as work experience and country of citizenship, is current. When the priority date is current it means that the green card is getting processed and no more waiting is required.
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