Employment Based Green Card

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What Is Employment Based Green Card ?

An employment-based green card allows a foreign national to apply for lawful permanent residency in the U.S. through an employment route. Besides familial ties, employment-based immigration is the most popular way for a foreign national to seek residency in the United States. If you are a foreign national who gets sponsored by your employer, you can apply for an employment-based green card.

Employment-Based Green Card Categories

EB-1: Priority Workers

The EB-1 category provides entry to those who have received global legitimacy for outstanding achievements in particular disciplines. Priority workers who excel in science, art and entertainment, education, commerce, sports, and athletics. This group also includes academics, researchers, and scientists. Executives & managers of U.S. parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate in a foreign corporation can also petition in this category. However, there is a limit to the number of persons who may enter the United States under the EB-1 category. Read More

EB-2: Individuals With Specialized Degrees Or Individuals With Extraordinary Skill

The EB-2 Green Card category applicants are members of the professions with advanced degrees or the equivalent or foreign nationals with exceptional abilities in the sciences, arts, or business; Read More

EB-3: Skilled or Professional Workers

The EB-3 category is for skilled workers (jobs requiring two years or more training or experience) or unskilled workers (jobs requiring less than two years of training or experience). If there is a backlog, it usually takes many more years to immigrate under the Second and third preference unskilled category. Strategies to avoid the third preference unskilled classification whenever possible are imperative. At the Law Office of Prashanthi Reddy, we will ensure that your Labor Certification and I-140 are filed in the category that best reflects your employer’s minimum job qualifications and puts you into an employment category with the least amount of backlog. Read More

How to Get an Employment-based Green Card?

The process for obtaining permanent residence on employment consists of three phases: the labor certification, the visa petition, and the application for permanent residence.

Step 1: Labor Certification

Submit a petition to the Department of Labor through your employer. In most cases, the employer must obtain “labor certification” from the DOL, showing that there is an insufficient number of U.S. workers capable, qualified, and willing to undertake the task for which the foreign-born individual is being hired. The business must publicize the position and make efforts to find someone who is already a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is qualified to fill it.

The key to the labor certification process is for the employer to decide the true minimum requirements for the position. The requirements generally must be normal to the occupation and not more than the worker had when hired into the job offered. Nor can the requirements be tailored to the foreign worker’s specific skills and qualifications.  A labor market test is generally done through newspaper/website/journal advertisements and requesting the DOL place a job order. Any responses to the recruitment must be evaluated carefully. The employer can reject applicants only for lawful, job-related reasons. Our immigration attorneys will educate the employer on this process to ensure that the regulations are met.

Step 2: I-140 Immigration Visa Petition

The approved labor certification is filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with other paperwork to determine whether the foreign national qualifies for EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 categories of sponsorship.  The requirements for each of these categories are complicated and open to interpretation. At the Law Office Of Prashanthi Reddy, PLLC, we will evaluate your situation and advise you on the best possible options.

Step 3: Application for Adjustment Of Status or Consular Processing

Adjustment of Status

If the foreign worker is within the United States, he or she may apply for adjustment of status by filing an application with the USCIS in the U.S. The individual’s priority date, established at the time of filing the initial application for a labor certification with DOL, should be current at the time of filing this application. The application can remain pending for several months before the USCIS issues lawful permanent residence to the foreign national. If the foreign national needs to travel abroad during this time, he or she must seek special travel permission known as “advance parole.” However, “advance parole” is not required for people on H-1B or L status.

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Other Type Of Green Card

Eligibility For Adjustment Of Status

If you are currently in the United States, in order to be eligible for a Green Card as an EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 immigrant, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must properly file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;
  • You were inspected and admitted or inspected and paroled into the United States;
  • You are physically present in the United States at the time you file your Form I-485;
  • You are eligible to receive an immigrant visa;
  • An immigrant visa is immediately available to you at the time you file your Form I-485, and at the time, USCIS makes a final decision on your application. (For information on visa availability, see Visa Availability and Priority Dates, Adjustment of Status Filing Charts, and the Department of State website to view the Visa Bulletin);
  • The job offered to you in Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, still exists with the employer that filed the Form I-140 on your behalf, and you plan to accept the job once USCIS approves your Form I-485. If you filed Form I-140 as a self-petitioner, you must plan to work in the same or similar occupational field as specified in your Form I-140;
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  • Note: Even if you have a new job or employer, section 204(j) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows the approved Form I-140 to remain valid for adjustment of status purposes if:
    • You submit evidence that the new job is in the same or a similar occupational classification as the job in the original Form I-140; and
    • The Form I-485 you filed based on the Form I-140 remains unadjudicated for 180 days or more; and
  • None of the applicable bars to adjustment of status apply to you;
  • You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other forms of relief; and
  • You merit the favorable exercise of USCIS’ discretion.
  • Portability

    A new portability provision was introduced in October 2000. If an adjustment of status application has been pending for more than 180 days, the green card process would not be thwarted if the applicant got an offer from another employer in a similar occupation.

    Consular Processing

    Foreign nationals who are based overseas can process their immigrant visas at consular posts in their home countries. Individuals who violated their status in any way and are not eligible for adjustment of status under any of the enumerated exemptions must also return to their home country for consular processing. Many opt for consular processing as adjustment of status is more time-consuming. Under the 1996 Immigration Act, individuals who overstayed their nonimmigrant visas by more than 180 days would be barred from reentering the United States for three years. Individuals who overstayed their nonimmigrant visas for more than one year would be barred from reentering the United States for ten years. There are very limited exemptions for overcoming these bars. The petition procedure for an employment-based green card is comprehensive and complex. It entails obtaining clearance from the Departments of Labor, USCIS, and the DOS.

    For immigration procedures, foreign nationals should seek counsel from experienced immigration attorneys at the Law Office Of Prashanthi Reddy, PLLC, New York. Our attorneys carry in-depth knowledge in employment-based immigration matters and guide you through your Green Card Application procedure. Once you decide to start the process, you will receive a questionnaire and a list of documents via email. Once my office has received the documents, I will call and discuss the case with you. In the course of this discussion, we will finalize your job duties and your employment classification based on your education and experience. I will inform you if we need any further documents. If the documentation is complete and the payments have been made in full, we will file your application within 1 week of receipt of all documentation and payment.

    Please note that we offer excellent services as our systems are all automated. You will receive an email whenever there is some change in the status of your case. I am available to respond to any questions that you have. We will send you all correspondence promptly and respond to all your phone calls and emails the same day. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me in case you have any questions. Call the New York immigration attorney at The Law Offices of Prashanthi Reddy, PLLC, at (212) 354-1010 or mail at prashanthi@reddyesq.com.

    Steps for Consular Processing Of Family based Green Card

    Consular processing is a multi-step process, and it’s crucial that you understand the formalities that you need to go through. Here’s what you should expect:

    ➜ 1. Determine Your Basis to Immigrate

    The first stage in consular processing is to see if you are eligible to apply for a Green Card (lawful permanent residence).

    ➜ 2. File the Immigrant Petition

    The beneficiary will need a qualified family member to file an immigrant petition on his/her behalf.

    ➜ 3. Wait for a Decision on Your Petition

    The petitioner is notified of the decision by USCIS. If USCIS denies the petition, the notice will state the grounds for the denial as well as whether you have the right to appeal the decision. If your petition is approved and you live outside of the U.S. (or if you live in the United States but want to apply for an immigrant visa in another country), USCIS will forward your petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center. The petition will be kept there until you receive an immigrant visa number.

    ➜ 4. Wait for Notification from the National Visa Center

    The National Visa Center (NVC) is responsible for collecting visa application fees and supporting documentation. The NVC will notify the petitioner and you (the beneficiary) when the visa petition is received and again when an immigrant visa number is about to become available. They will also notify you when you must submit immigrant visa processing fees and supporting documentation.

    ➜ 5. Go to Your Appointment

    Once a visa is available or your priority date is current, the consular office will schedule you for an interview. The consular office will process your case and decide if you are eligible for an immigrant visa.

    ➜ 6. Notify the National Visa Center of Any Changes

    You should, contact the NVC if:

    • You change your address,
    • You were under 21 but have now reached the age of 21, or
    • You change your marital status.

    These changes may affect your eligibility or visa availability.

    ➜ 7. After Your Visa is Granted

    If you are granted an immigrant visa, the consular officer will give you a packet of information. This packet is known as a “Visa Packet.” Do not open this packet. It should be unsealed by a U.S. officer at an official port of entry.
    You will need to pay a USCIS Immigrant Fee. When you arrive in the United States, you should give your Visa Packet to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the port of entry. The CBP officer will inspect you and determine whether to admit you into the United States as a lawful permanent resident.

    ➜ 8. Receive Your Green Card

    If you have paid the USCIS Immigrant Fee, you will receive your Green Card in the mail after you arrive in the United States. If you did not pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee before you arrived in the United States, you will need to pay the fee before USCIS will send you a Green Card.

    The comprehensive family-based green card applications can be best handled by experienced immigration lawyers like the Law Office Of Prashanthi Reddy, PLLC, New York. We have 20+ years of experience in processing green card applications for preference and immediate relatives and can help you in your application process. Because of our experience in this field, we are able to anticipate problems and find solutions.
    Reach out to the Law Offices of Prashanthi Reddy, PLLC, at prashanthi@reddyesq.com or call us at 212-354-1010.

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