Fisher Legal Group

Do I Have To Be Sponsored By An Employer For Employment-Based Immigration?

In some cases, an individual does need to be sponsored by an employer for employment-based immigration. If an individual does not have qualifications suitable for a national interest waiver or extraordinary abilities then the individual needs an employer to sponsor them. However, if an individual possesses all of the qualifications suitable for a national interest waiver or extraordinary abilities or other self-petition categories, then they can self-petition. So, the short answer is that it is not always necessary to be sponsored by an employer. However, most of the time, even when an individual does not need to be sponsored by an employer, they still need a job offer from an employer.

What Is The Labor Certification Process?

The labor certification process is the formal term for PERM, and it is certified by the US Department of Labor. Before an employer decides to sponsor an individual for a green card, they have to go through the US Department of Labor’s certification process. They have to determine what salary they have to pay the employee based on the minimum job requirements for the position. Then, they have to advertise the position and collect applications from candidates. They have to conduct recruitment and interview candidates. The employer has to prove to the immigration agency that there are no US citizens suitable for the position and that they want to hire that specific foreign individual for lawful permanent residency, which is the formal legal term for the green card. After the employer finishes the recruitment process, they will have to prepare the recruitment report.

How Long Will It Take To Obtain A Green Card?

In order to obtain a green card, an individual would need a family member or an employer to sponsor them. There is also the green card lottery, asylum and religious-based green cards among many others. Obtaining the actual green card based on employment (taking into consideration that the underlying petition is approved, and the priority date is current) takes almost the exact same period of time as any other category in the immigration process. The reason is that as soon as the employer’s I-140 petition is approved and the priority date becomes current, the individual can apply for a green card. There are certain categories where the individual does not have to wait for the employer’s I-140 petition to be approved before filing the application for the green card. The EB-2 category is one of them, which almost always has a current priority date for most counties and which means that the beneficiary of the employer’s petition can apply for the green card at the same time the employer files its I-140 petition concurrently.

The timeframe for the USCIS adjudication varies. In the past, it took about four or five months. We are seeing increased processing times for the green card applications. Quite recently, the immigration agency announced that they are going to conduct interviews for employment-based green card applications. In the past, an individual who had an approved I-140 petition was able to file for a green card and have their green card application adjudicated without an interview. Now, the individuals will have to go through an interview process, and the period of time will certainly be much longer than four months. We do not yet know how long it will take since this is very new, and we can’t yet talk about historical numbers. However, I anticipate it will be at least six or seven months, maybe even longer than that.

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