Permanent employment

Programs

Important information about employment based programs

     Approximately 140,000 immigrant visas are available each fiscal year for aliens (and their spouses and children) who seek to immigrate based on their job skills. If you have the right combination of skills, education, and/or work experience and are otherwise eligible, you may be able to live permanently in the United States. 

HIRE FOREING WORKERS

EMPLOYERS

   As an employer, you may need to hire foreign labor when a U.S. citizen is not available. As a starting point you will need to consider whether you wish to petition for permanent residence (a Green Card) for your prospective employee to work here permanently or whether you wish to petition for someone to come temporarily to the United States to fill an employment need.

     Employers must verify that an individual whom they plan to employ or continue to employ in the United States is authorized to accept employment in the United States. For more information about the employment authorization verification process, see the “I-9 Central” page.

   As an employer, you may require the services of an alien to work at your company or business. If the individual is already a permanent resident (green card holder), you may hire that individual, but you must comply with the employment verification requirements.

     If the alien is not already a permanent resident, you will need to file a petition so that the individual may obtain the appropriate immigrant or nonimmigrant classification.  You may choose to file an immigrant petition (permanent) or a nonimmigrant petition (temporary) on behalf of that employee.

LABOR CERTIFICATION

  A Department of Labor certification is required for U.S. employers seeking to employ individuals whose immigration to the United States is based on job skills or nonimmigrant temporary workers coming to perform services for which qualified authorized workers are unavailable in the United States.

   Labor certifications are issued by the secretary of labor and contain attestations by U.S. employers of the numbers of U.S. workers available to undertake the employment sought by an applicant, and the effect of the alien’s employment on the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed. Determination of labor availability in the United States is made at the time of a visa application and at the location where the applicant wishes to work.

    A U.S. employer who is “sponsoring” or petitioning for a permanent worker may be required to obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) verifying that there are an insufficient number of available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers to fill the position, and that the employment will not have an adverse effect on the wages and working conditions of similarly situated U.S. workers. For more information, see the Permanent Labor Certification page.

wORKING IN THE uNITED sTATES

EMPLOYEES

     No alien may accept employment in the United States unless they have been authorized to do so. Some aliens, such as those who have been admitted as permanent residents, granted asylum or refugee status, or admitted in work-related nonimmigrant classifications, may have employment authorization as a direct result of their immigration status. Other aliens may need to apply individually for employment authorization.

     There are many ways in which a person may be able to work in the United States. You may seek an immigration classification that permits you to live and work in the United States permanently or temporarily. In most instances, your employer or potential employer must petition for you. Visit USCIS.gov and you will find more information about coming to the United States to work temporarily or permanently and the many different eligibility categories for working in the United States.

     Foreign workers may obtain permanent residence (a Green Card) if they are able to establish that they have unique skills, or are being offered a job in the United States that will not displace a U.S. worker or have an adverse effect on wages and working conditions of U.S. workers. This determination is made by the Department of Labor and is demonstrated by obtaining a “labor certification.”

PREFERENCE CATEGORIES

     Some immigrant visa preferences require you to already have a job offer from a U.S. employer. This employer will be considered your sponsor. For some visa categories, before the U.S. employer can submit an immigration petition to USCIS, the employer must obtain an approved labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL labor certification verifies the following:

  • There are insufficient available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers to fill the position being offered at the prevailing wage
  • Hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers
second preference

Reserved for persons who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or for persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business.

third preference

Reserved for professionals, skilled workers, and other workers.

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The information, templates, forms, tips, and tools provided in and through JL Recruitment & Consulting, LLC is not legal advice. JL Recruitment & Consulting, LLC is not a law firm and the employees and contractors (including attorneys, if any) of JL Recruitment & Consulting, LLC are not acting as your attorneys, and none of them are a substitute for the advice of your own attorney or law firm licensed to practice law in your state or home country.