A foreign national who has a permanent employment opportunity in the United States may be eligible for Permanent Residence status through employment sponsorship. This is a multi-step process which requires the involvement of both the employer and the foreign national. First, the U.S. employer must complete a labor certification request for the applicant and submit it to the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. There are rules on responsibilities for the various fees applicable to the process. Also, the advertisement requirements could be tedious and time-consuming as part of the labor certification process.
Once the labor certificate request has been approved, the employer must submit an immigration visa petition (Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker) on behalf of the foreign national. If this petition is approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the foreign worker may come to the United States to live and work in the U.S. upon his or her immigration visa petition approval. Finally, the foreign national must apply to adjust his or her status from a temporary worker to a permanent resident. In order to do this, the employee must complete the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence; if this form is approved by the USCIS, the foreign national will be granted a Green Card. Those who live abroad may obtain their green cards through consular processing following approval of Form I-140 application.
The process of obtaining permanent resident status through employment sponsorship is complex and time-consuming. Generally, the time frame of the application process is over two years.