General InformationEligible foreign nationals may be able to obtain a green card through employment. If a U.S. employer has a permanent job opportunity available for you and is willing to sponsor you for permanent residency, then you may be able to immigrate to the U.S. based on employment.
To be eligible for employer-sponsored immigration, you must fall into one of the following four categories:
- EB-1 Priority workers
- EB-2 Professionals with advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability
- EB-3 Skilled or professional workers
- EB-4 Special Immigrants
Application ProcessObtaining the visa is a multi-step process.
- Labor Certification: First, the U.S. employer must complete a labor certification request and submit it to the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration. The DOL must determine that there are no qualified U.S. workers "able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job at the prevailing wage for that occupation in the area of intended employment and that employment of the alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers". The DOL will either grant or deny the certification request. (Note: This does not apply to foreign physicians who will practice medicine in an area of the U.S. which has been certified as underserved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)
- Petition: When the certification request has been approved, the U.S. employer (known as the petitioner) must submit an immigrant visa petition, Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, for the person wishing to immigrate to the U.S. (knows as the beneficiary).
After the petition has been approved, USCIS will send a notice to the petitioner and send the approved petition to the Department of State's National Visa Center where it will remain until an immigrant visa number becomes available. This applies to beneficiaries both within and outside the United States.
- Permanent Residence: Once you receive an immigrant visa number, you will need permission to live and work permanently in the U.S. This is achieved through conditional permanent residence.
If you are already in the U.S. when a visa number becomes available, you will apply to adjust your status to that of a lawful permanent resident by submitting Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
If you are outside the U.S. when an immigrant visa number becomes available, you will complete the processing and secure a visa number at your U.S. consulate. The American consulate or embassy will provide you with the information you need to complete the processing. You will be asked to finalize a packet of information, which will include supporting documents and additional fees. You must also attend a medical exam and interview.
- Remove Conditions on Residence: If you completed your immigration processing outside the U.S., you will have received conditional permanent resident status. Conditional permanent residence is valid for two years after approval. To remain in the U.S., you need to remove the conditions on your residency. Within 90 days of the 2-year anniversary date of residency, you would file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence.