Under certain circumstances foreign nationals may seek to permanently live and work in the United States. While there are many different visas and circumstances under which a foreign national may be entitled to work, some employment visas will allow the foreign national to live and work permanently to the U.S. If you have a sponsor or are an employer who would like to sponsor an employee for permanent employment, you must go through a multi-step process.
- First, the employee and employer must determine if the foreign national is eligible for permanent residency through one of the employment paths available.
- Then, in most circumstances, a U.S. employer is required to complete a labor certification request (Form ETA 750) for the applicant, or foreign national, and submit it to the Department of Labor to be approved or denied.
- Next, the employer must submit and USCIS approve an immigrant visa petition, Form I-140 Petition for Alien Worker. This can only be filed after a labor certification request is granted. The employer acts as a sponsor/petitioner for the employee/beneficiary to live and work permanently in the U.S.
- If the Form I-140 is approved, the employee will receive a visa number that will eventually enable the foreign national to apply for permanent resident status. You may check the visa bulletin issued by the U.S .Department of State to determine the status of a visa that has been issued.
- Once a visa is current, the employee can apply to adjust status to a permanent resident if the employee is within the U.S.
If outside the U.S., the foreign national/employee will be notified that their visa is available and current and they can apply for permanent resident status at their consulate.
Eligibility: There are four (4) categories for granting permanent residence to foreign nationals based on employment.
EB- 1 First Preference Category – Priority Workers
- Foreign nationals who have an extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim;
- Foreign nationals who are outstanding professors or researchers;
- Foreign nationals who are executives or managers of a multinational company.
EB-2 Second Preference Category – Persons With Advanced Degrees Or Exceptional Ability
- Foreign nationals who hold advanced degrees or its equivalent.
- Foreign nationals who has exceptional ability in sciences, arts, or business.
- Foreign National Physicians who agree to work for a period of time in a designated underserved area – may have Labor Certification process waived.
EB-3 Third Preference Category – Professional or Skilled Workers
- Foreign Nationals who hold U.S. baccalaureate degree or foreign degree equivalent (who do not qualify for a higher preference category)
- Foreign nationals who are skills workers (a minimum of two years training and experience)
- Foreign nationals who are unskilled workers
EB-4 Fourth Preference Category – Special Immigrants
- Foreign nationals who are religious workers
- Foreign nationals who are employees or former employees of the U.S. Government abroad.