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How to Get a Green Card from Your Employer

By Thomas Lee


Foreign nationals who are skilled or educated—and who have job offers—have the possibility of immigrating to the United States. The process involves three steps:

(1) PERM: the employer must first obtain a “labor certification” from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This process is done online through the internet. Employers must sign-up for a PERM account on the DOL website and then assign an account for our office to authorize us to submit a PERM application online on the employer's behalf.

A) Attestations: The employer must certify to the conditions of employment on the Application for Permanent Employment Certification under penalty of perjury

B) Notice of PERM Filing: Generally, the employer must give notice of the filing of the Application for Permanent Employment Certification and be able to document that notice was provided, if requested by the DOL Certifying Officer

C) Required Recruitment Efforts: An employer must conduct recruitment prior to filing the application

D) Recruitment Report: The employer must prepare a signed recruitment report describing the recruitment steps undertaken and the results achieved, the number of hires, and, if applicable, the number of U.S. workers rejected, categorized by the lawful job-related reasons for such rejections.

E) Other Important Requirements:

- Retention of Documents

- Applications for permanent labor certification and approved labor certifications cannot be offered for sale, barter or purchase by individuals or entities.

- An employer must not seek or receive payment of any kind for any activity related to obtaining permanent labor certification

- Job duties and requirements

- A U.S. worker is able and qualified for the job opportunity

- If the employer receives resumes from qualified U.S. workers, the employer must contact them and interview them

(2) I-140 Petition to the USCIS: After the certified "labor certification" is received, the sponsored employee, employer, and our office must sign it in order for it to become valid. The labor certification will expire within 6 months of certification, and an application for immigrant visa classification under the employment-based second or third preference (I-140) must be filed prior to the expiration date.

(3) Adjustment of Status / Immigrant Visa: This is the final step where the foreign national applies for lawful permanent residency or the “green card” through adjustment of status in the United States or consular processing overseas. However, this step requires that visa alien numbers must be available for the particular category.

- 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 INS in the United States.

- Consular Processing: Foreign nationals based overseas can process their immigrant visas at consular posts in their home countries.

- Immigrant Visa:

A) Employment-Based Second Preference

Members of the professions with advanced degrees or the equivalent, or aliens of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business;

B) Employment-Based Third Preference

Professionals, skilled workers (jobs requiring two years or more training or experience), or unskilled workers (jobs requiring less than two years’ training or experience).

Please note that the information provided on this website is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed nor relied upon as legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. For a free consultation with Attorney Thomas M. Lee, please contact us.

Los Angeles Office Location

Address: 3435 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 2400, Los Angeles, CA 90010

Phone: 213-251-5533