Are you interested in coming to the United States to live and work full-time? If so, you may be able to become a lawful permanent resident (Green Card Holder) if you receive an offer of permanent employment here in the U.S. The first task at hand is to determine if you are eligible under one of the immigrant visa categories based on employment. Your education, skills and unique work experience will determine if you meet the criteria under the following employment-based visa categories:
- Priority workers include people with an extraordinary ability in the arts, business, education or sciences. They also include outstanding athletes, professors, researchers, and certain multinational managers and executives.
- Professionals include immigrants who have demonstrated exceptional ability in the arts, sciences or business, or professionals who have obtained advanced degrees.
- Certain people can qualify because they are considered “special immigrants.” You can ask our immigration attorney to see if you meet the criteria.
- Alien entrepreneurs are immigrants who plan to make investments in new businesses in the U.S.
Unfortunately, immigrant visas are not unlimited. Each year, only a certain number of immigrant visas can be issued under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Once someone is approved for an employment-based visa, their visa number is distributed by the U.S. Department of State. “How do I get started?” If you are currently living in the U.S. and you’re not a self-petitioner, you’ll need your employer to obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor and then they’ll have to file a Petition for Immigrant Worker (Form I-140).
If you’re applying for a job where the DOL has determined that there’s a shortage, your employer will not need to obtain a labor certification. As of this writing, no more than 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are issued each year, and each country has an annual allotment. To learn more about Green Card eligibility, visa availability and priority dates, contact our Plano immigration firm today.