If you are a professional, either within the United States or abroad, you might be interested in gaining lawful permanent residency through employment. Many employment-based green card holders had an American company petition for them on their behalf, while other professionals filed the green card application themselves.
To live and work in the United States while you wait for a green card through employment, you might consider getting a temporary nonimmigrant visa that allows you to remain in the country while you work for a U.S. organization for a limited amount of time. There are many options for foreign national professionals to acquire an employment-based green card.
Employment-Based Green Cards in the United States
An employment-based green card may be appropriate for an employee who wants to work in the United States under lawfully recorded permanent residency status. Often this type of authorization requires a job offer and a labor certification by the hiring company.
As such, for many green cards acquired through employment, the petitioner is an employing U.S. company, rather than the foreign national. However, there are some employment-based green card applications that allow for the employee themselves to self-petition for lawful permanent residency in the United States.
No matter who is the petitioner, an employment-based green card is applied for using Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. The evidence that must accompany the I-140 form will depend on the type of employment-based green card that is being sought. Unfortunately, the Form I-140 and accompanying evidence must be submitted to the USCIS by mail, as there is currently no online employment-based green card application.
Labor Certifications for United States Employers
An employment-based green card in the United States frequently requires a labor certification. According to the USCIS, a labor certification is the responsibility of the employing organization, rather than the worker.
Certified permanent labor certifications can be obtained from the United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA). A labor certification is also called a PERM, or an ETA 9089, after the form that must be completed to obtain the permanent labor certification.
PERMs are intended to make sure that American employees and the U.S. labor market in general are not negatively impacted by the granting of a green card through employment. The United States government requires these labor certifications to ensure that foreign nationals are not taking the jobs of equally qualified Americans.
Green Cards That Do Not Require a Labor Certification
In order to avoid the labor certification requirement, a United States worker might consider petitioning under EB-1 classification. To do so; however, they must prove that they are a member of one of the following categories: