Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sponsoring an Employee for Permanent Resident Status: Part II

What does the petition do for my employee?

Filing a petition shows that you have the intent to hire the employee upon the approval of the petition. By proving that you will have an employer-employee relationship and that the employee has the necessary qualifications for the job, you provide the employee with a place in line among others waiting to immigrate based on the same kind of EB visa category. When the foreign national employee reaches the head of the line, he or she may be eligible to apply to immigrate to the United States.

The foreign national’s place in line, known as a “priority date,” will be based on the date you file the labor certification with DOL or, if a labor certification is not required, the date your petition is filed with USCIS. For this reason, there is an advantage to filing as soon as you are certain that you wish to permanently employ the foreign national.

How do I file for a current or prospective employee?

You need to determine if the prospective or current employee meets the criteria of one of the four preference categories shown above.

Then, the process begins as follows:

                      For category EB-1, file a Form I-140 with USCIS.

                      For categories EB-2 and EB-3, first file a labor certification with the Department of Labor (DOL).

                      Then with the approved labor certification, file a Form I-140 with USCIS. Note that, for category EB-2, the requirement for labor certification has been waived for foreign nationals who qualify for a national interest waiver.

                      For category EB-4, file a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, with USCIS.

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