Foreign workers in the US have the option to pursue Permanent Residence through a process called PERM Labor Certification.
Often this is referred to informally as a “Green Card”, which looks like the picture below.
USCIS handles a lot of the security and authorization processing before and after.
The Department of Labor handles the certifying the foreign worker’s petition by the Employer/Sponsor.
Most employer sponsors and foreign workers elect to consult an immigration attorney before, during, and after.
|Preferences||General Description||Labor Certification Required?|
|First Preference EB-1||This preference is reserved for persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; and multinational executives and managers.||No|
|Second Preference EB-2||This preference is reserved for persons who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or for persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business.||Yes, unless applicant can obtain a national interest waiver (See the “Labor Certification” link to the right for more waiver information.)|
|Third Preference EB-3||This preference is reserved for professionals, skilled workers, and other workers. (See Third Preference EB-3 link on left for further definition of these job classifications.)||Yes|
|Fourth Preference EB-4||This preference is reserved for “special immigrants,” which includes certain religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, retired employees of international organizations, alien minors who are wards of courts in the United States, and other classes of aliens.||No|
|Fifth Preference EB-5||This preference is reserved for business investors who invest $1 million or $500,000 (if the investment is made in a targeted employment area) in a new commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time U.S. workers.||No|
The highest qualified attorneys are almost always members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. They have an online search system, but not all lawyers participate. They have roughly 16,000 members, so finding an appropriate attorney is easy.
We have a chart here showing the recruitment advertising phase of PERM Labor Certification.
The law governing this is enshrined in the Code Of Federal Regulations.
Attorneys and industry professionals often refer to th employment-based visas as EB.
The various legal approaches each classification takes to get the end result are exactly why a lawyer is the best option.
Foreign workers must keep in mind that they should avoid Notarios and non-professionals at all costs.
PERM Labor Certification grants permanent residence status on a worker. They no longer need to do visa runs or keep an eye on the calendar for when their Temporary Worker Visa runs out.
You can undertake many aspects of PERM Labor Certification yourself, but Department of Labor is very strict about vetting the paperwork given to them. If it contains an obvious error, they will reject the initial filingand return it with an explanation of why they did so.
Seasoned lawyers fill out this paperwork perfectly, and often have a sophisticated legal strategy behind the various information they submit.