Permanent Residents or Green Card holders are authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. United States offers green cards to people in various ways and one of them is the employment based Green Card. In general, this means that an individual will be able to get a green card based on the fact that he or she has a permanent employment opportunity in the United States.
Generally, a sponsor is required to apply for an employment based green card. Wherever a job offer is mandatory for sponsoring the green card, it is for the future job that the employee will do after he or she obtains the green card. Hence it is possible for an employer to sponsor for a green card even if the employee is not working with them currently. There are few categories where a sponsor is not required. There are many people who are already in the United States working for the sponsoring employer with H1 or L1 visas when the green card application is filed.
Who may file?
Getting an employment based green card is a multi-step process. The sponsor must file the Form I-140 to sponsor the employee for a green card. The employer or the sponsor may file the petition for the following:
- An outstanding professor or researcher with at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in the academic area,
- A person who has been employed in the area of a primary managerial or executive capacity for one year by a legal firm, corporation or other legal entity and who is willing to work in the United States for the same employer or subsidiary.
- Individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences and arts, or an individual having an advanced degree, who will benefit the national economy or the welfare of US
- Individuals who has skills to perform the labor in US where there are no qualified workers for that occupation in the US.
- An unskilled worker to perform the labor in US where there are no qualified workers for that occupation in the US.
If the sponsor or the employer is an individual, then the sponsor must personally sign the form I 140. If the sponsor is below 14 years then the sponsor’s legal guardian must sign the petition. If the sponsor is not an individual and if the sponsor is a legal entity or a corporation, then the employee of the concern, who has knowledge on the facts involved in the petition, must sign the petition.
Along with the petition the supporting documents must be sent to USCIS. One of the major document is the Labor Certification. This certification must be obtained before filing the form I-140 to prove that there are no skilled workers available or willing in US at the time or places of employment of the immigrant. If qualified workers are available then must prove that immigrant’s employment in the occupation will not affect the wages and working conditions of the workers in US.
If you are one among those who wish to work in the US permanently, then here we go. Not many know the fact that they can be sponsored a green card by an employer. The form I-140 is a petition filed by the US employer for a foreign national to work in the US on a permanent basis. Form I140 can also be used to self petition by some highly qualified foreign professionals.
Documents that Accompany Form I-140:
Generally Form I-140 is filed by the US employer and is usually the second step in the green card process. For most cases the labor certification must be approved. The labor certificate should certify that there are no US workers qualified to do the job where the alien is presently working and if qualified that the wages of the employed US workers will not be affected .
The employer should prove that he is in good financial position and can provide enough salary as advertised for the job. The following documents should be provided along with the completed form I-140 application.
- Labor certification that is approved
- A financial statement proving that the employer’s financial position
- Employee’s experience letters at the previous employments from the concerned employers
- Degree certificates, qualification certificates and other documents proving the educational qualification.
- The required fees along with the filled form I 140
The visa petition when submitted to the USCIS should always include details of whether the petition from the beneficiary is being filed at an American Consulate for an immigrant visa or whether the beneficiary will apply for an adjustment of status with the USCIS.
Once the application is completed it has to be mailed along with the necessary supporting documents to the USCIS. After the USCIS receives the form I-140 petition, an Application Receipt Notice will be sent which will have a file number to the case. This receipt is proof or an acknowledgment that the USCIS has received your petition. On approval of the petition by the USCIS an Approval Notice will be issued which is an assurance that the petition is approved by the USCIS and then comes the green card process.
Though the application is approved, it does not change the non immigrant status of the applicant. The status will remain the same as before the petition was approved. The petition’s approval relies on the applicant’s job and if there is a change in the job a new form I140 is required. The beneficiary of this approved petition will then have to apply to adjust status or for an immigrant visa.
Further, a major advantage is that Form I-485 can be concurrently filed with form I-140. If the form I 140 is filed already with the application notice, form I-485 can be filed along with Employment authorization and Advance parole. The option of E filing is also available while filing the form I-140 in which case it will automatically be sent to appropriate Service Center. Once the from I 140 is accepted, it will be checked for completeness and in case of any incomplete information there is a possibility of denial of the application.
Getting a petition approved is not a big task, but the follow up tasks are much more important for which a proper guidance is essential. With proper direction the process can indeed be more faster and easier as well.
The H2B visa is a non-immigrant working visa which allows foreign nationals to enter United States for employment purpose in the non- agricultural working area . This non-agricultural field may be for seasonal need, intermittent, a peak load or for one-time occurrence. One-time occurrence means the job offer is only for a short term and not required in the future. Like the H1B visa, H2B visa requires the US employer to petition for the foreign employees. Seasonal need is when the US employer must prove that only at a particular time of the year that the labor is needed more. Peak load is when the company needs the employees for a temporary time and they will not be employed permanently. Intermittent means the employers are required only for a very short period to perform the services.
The US employer must also prove that there are no unemployed workers in the United States willing or able to do the required work. This must be proved by providing a document through the state’s employment agency using a labor certification process. This process will require a recruitment campaign which will include advertising in a local newspaper for available temporary workers for the required occupation.
List of documents needed for H2B visa
The duration of the H2B visa is limited to the need of the employer for temporary workers. The maximum validity period is for one year. In certain cases the employer may extend the duration of the visa up to three years but with specific conditions from the immigration department.
When applying for the H2B visa, the applicant and the US employer must submit the required documents such as,
- Copy of the passport
- Copy of the current visa
- Address in the applicants home country
- A letter from the US employer
- must produce sufficient evidence to prove that the visit is only temporary and that he/she intends to return back after the business-related work is done
- an evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad, and that he/she has residence outside the U.S. and has other binding ties that will ensure the individual leaves US at the end of the visit period.
All the petitions for this visa must be filed before six months of the proposed employment time. On entering the United States, the employee must ensure that he/she works only for the sponsored US employer and must leave the United States when the visa expires unless an extension is approved.
Spouse and children (unmarried child under 21 years of age ) of the H2B visa holders may accompany the employee and they will be allowed to enter United States with H4 visa. They may remain in the United States till the authorized stay of the H2B visa holder. But the dependents in H4 visas will not be allowed to work in the United States. Further, it is a must that the applicant obtains a prior appointment scheduled and also produce necessary documents (including passport) to the US Consulate at the time of Interview. Applicants will be notified in writing on the decision of the visa application.
Any foreign national who seeks to enter the United States must obtain a visa. The United States visas are classified into Immigrant and Non-immigrant visas. The immigrant visas are used by people who wish to travel to live permanently in US and non-immigrant visas are used by people who travel to US on a temporary basis for business or pleasure.
People who wish to enter United States for employment purpose must obtain a US working visa in order to be eligible to work in the United States. United States offers working visas such as H1B and H2B visas . The H1B working visa falls under the non-immigrant visa category. This visa allows a foreign national to be sponsored by a US Company for a period of six years and may lead to sponsor for Green Card. This H1B visa is mainly designed to be used for people who come under the Specialty Occupations category.
People who seek to enter United States using the H1B visa must be offered a job in the United States and must be sponsored by the employer of that company/organization. Also it is the duty of the US sponsor or the employer to prove that the position requires a skilled person from a specialty occupation and the intended employee has the required skills. The Specialty Occupations require a high degree of specialized knowledge (usually this requirement can be met by having a 3 year degree or 3 years’ equivalent post-graduate experience), such as mathematics, architecture, engineering, and other occupations
List of documents needed for H1B visa
There are certain eligibility requirements to be met by both the US employer and the applicant when applying for the H1B visa. The U.S. employer must agree to pay the H-1B employee at least the prevailing wage earned by similarly employed workers in the area of employment and must make other attestations as required by the Department of Labor. The applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree, possess specialized skill, and must speak and read English.
The applicant must ensure he/she provides the required supporting documents to be eligible for H1B visa. Below listed is the basic documents that the applicant must provide.
- A letter from the Current Employer
- Offer letter form the company in United States
- Resume of the applicant
- Sample company projects documents and some documents describing what the company does
- Approval Notice (form I 797) of the original petition
- Employment Verification letter
- Bank Statements
- Degree Certificates
After the application for H1B visa has been submitted by the US employer, USCIS will review the application for completeness with inclusion of the supporting documents. If USCIS finds the application is incomplete or if any required document is not submitted, the application might be rejected. On approval of the application, USCIS will send an approval notice to the US employer. If the petition visa is approved, an Approval Notice will be sent. Using the Approval Notice, the applicant may obtain the H1B visa from the US Consulate. If the application is denied, USCIS will notify applicant in writing the reason for rejection.
You have the ambition to work in the US and thereby settle in the US! Well, you can fulfill your ambition by following the right path. You can sponsor a foreign national and allow him to attain his permanent residency as an employer,for which you have to file a petition. The petition filed is Form I-140 which is the Immigration Petition for Alien worker.
Most people obtain green cards either through family based or through employment. Basically getting a green card has the possibility of having permanent employment in the US. One such method is by filing the immigration petition where an employer is required to sponsor. There are few others where the employer is not required to sponsor.
Who should file form I-140:
The form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker can be filed by the US employer for
- The outstanding researcher or professor who has at least three years of experience in the field of education establishing himself in research and teaching which have achieved accomplishments in the academic field
- An alien who has achieved executive position in the firm for at least one year and wishes to render services to the same
- An alien who has extraordinary skills which will benefit the economy of the US thereby helping in the welfare of the US as well.
- A skilled worker with at least two years experience in the respective skill and to perform labor for the qualified workers.
- An unskilled worker with less than two years of specialized training and to perform labor for the qualified workers
- A member of professions with degree of baccalaureate (preaching)
Sponsoring a green card with respect to job offer will entitle one to get a permanent job in the future after getting the green card. So it is not necessary that the beneficiary has to work presently for the employer in order to sponsor the green card. Before filing the form I-140,the employer must file for the labor certification with the Department of labor,which certifies that no US workers are qualified or willing to work for which the alien will do for them. After approval of the labor certification,the immigration petition is filed by the employer. Form I-140 and Form I-485 can be concurrently filed if the priority date is current .The Department of State gives immigration visa number only when the priority date is current. The priority date is the date the Department of labor receives the application in cases if the application is based on the labor certification. The non immigrant status of the applicant does not change though the I-140 is approved.
The Evidence documents include the completed Form I-140, approved labor certification,evidence that the employer is able to pay the wages like the annual reports, bank account records etc, job experience letters from the employers and other documents proving the qualification of the job should also be submitted.
Getting the employment based green card is not an easy job. The foreign worker himself cannot file Form I-140. Submission of the falsified documents along with the application will lead to crime and the application will be denied and worst cases the applicant will be deported.
Applying for a green card :
There are different ways to get a permanent resident status. A family member who is a US citizen or permanent resident can sponsor you for a green card. Else, you can also get one through the Diversity Visa lottery program that is held every year. Approximately 55,000 applicants are randomly selected every year subject to certain eligibility conditions. You can also get a green card through employment. Here a qualified US employer needs to sponsor you. A person granted Refugee Status or Asylum may also apply for a Green Card. Like there are many ways to get a greencard, the process and procedures vary too.
Green card holders are known as lawful permanent residents (LPR). We need to understand that a green card is just a privilege and not a right as you may lose this status under a few circumstances. Plainly, it is not enough to just get a green card, you need to maintain it. Per immigration laws, you need to carry evidence of your status in the US at all times.
Benefits of being a green card holder :
As a green card holder, you can apply for government sponsored financial aid for educational purposes. You can pay less tuition fee in universities and colleges. This is also known as “in-state” tuition or “resident” tuition. Savings in most cases are three to four times lower than what foreigners pay. Additionally, as a green card holder, you are permitted to work in any company located in U.S. territory regardless of job function, hours/week, etc. except for some companies that only hire U.S. citizens. And you need not worry about employer sponsorship either. Some jobs require security clearance that only green card holders and U.S. citizens can get. Therefore, a green card provides more job opportunities.
Green card holders have the permission to start their own business and create own corporation. Social security is another benefit you will get when you retire, ie if you had worked for 10 years (40 quarters to be precise) before your retirement. Also, you can sponsor your spouse and unmarried minor children under 21 for them to get permanent resident status in the United States. In this case, the green card that you got for your family will still be valid even if you lose your job or pass away.
If you have a work permit, your spouse and minor unmarried children under 21 can stay in the U.S. as dependents. Even if you have a work permit, your kids have to get student visas to study and work visas to work. But, once they get a green card, they are allowed to stay in the U.S. even after turning 21 and even if they get married.
Another feature is that you will have access to security clearances. You will also be eligible for government grants and be exempted from export restrictions. You have the privilege of most legal rights under U.S. law, except for voting right which is only for U.S. citizens. You will be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship at a later stage, once you fulfill the eligibility requirements needed while applying for US citizenship. It is not mandatory that you take U.S. Citizenship. You can be a green card holder forever. If your current country allows dual citizenship, you can get U.S. citizenship without giving up your current nationality.
Permanent Residents or Green Card holders are authorized to live and work permanently in the US. Most people get their green cards through employment, through marriage or through the green card lottery program. Obtaining a Green Card through work is less favored by most people as the employee needs an employer in the US to petition for them.
Green Card through employment:
There are various categories where an individual may obtain a Green card through work.
- Green Card through job offer
- Green Card through investment,
- Green Card through Self Petition, and
- Green Card through special categories of jobs
Green Card through job offer:
If an individual wishes to obtain a Green Card through work he/she needs to find a job offer in United States which is relevant to his/her educational qualification. If the individual is offered the job, then the US employer must sponsor the individual. The US employer must file a petition to sponsor the individual in the immigration process. The petition works as an authorization that the individual will be employed on entering US. This category might require a letter from the Department of Labor to prove that the individual is skilled for the job and no American is displaced by the individual.
Green Card through investment:
If the individual wishes to obtain a Green Card though investment then he/she needs to invest in an enterprise that would create new jobs in US.
Green Card through Self Petition:
Some people may petition for themselves if they fall under the category called Aliens of Extraordinary Ability where the applicant has extraordinary ability in sciences, business, athletics or education. In this case the applicant must provide documents of proof that their awards of excellence have been recognized internationally.
Green Card through special categories of jobs:
This is a category where the individual may get a green card based on his/her past or current job. In these cases if the individual is not able to adjust the status inside US to Permanent Resident, then the immigrant petition can be sent to the US Consulate abroad to complete the process.
Obtaining a Green Card through work is a multi – step process where it takes a longer time for the petition to be approved. Once the petition has been filed, the first step is obtaining the Labor Certification. Once it is approved, the individual’s US employer must file form I 140, Immigrant petition for Alien Worker. The second step is Adjustment of Status in United States or Consular processing. If the applicant is in US he/she may apply for Adjustment of Status. If the applicant is abroad, he/she may go through consular processing. If the petition for Green card through work by the US employer has been approved, USCIS will forward the approved application to the Department of State’s National Visa Center and will notify the US employer about the approval of the petition. This might take 15 to 24 months or even longer than that depending on the priority date of the applicant.