How to Get an Employer Sponsored Visa

One option that’s available for a foreign national to become a lawful permanent United States resident is for that individual to connect with a company in the United States that will sponsor his or her immigration through an employment offer. This is commonly called an employer sponsored green card. That company is required to file appropriate paperwork with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on the foreign national’s behalf as it is considered to be the beneficiary of the employment of the person. By virtue of the employer filing the paperwork with USCIS, it becomes the foreign national’s sponsor. About 140,000 employment-based immigration visas for the United States are available every fiscal year. That year runs from October 1, until September 30.

The Three Steps

Obtaining an employer sponsored visa is a three-step process. Those steps involve the employer obtaining approval of a Labor Certification from the U.S. Department of Labor, the employer filing a Form I-140 Immigrant Petition on the employee’s behalf and the employee applying for an immigrant visa through a Form DS-260. If the employee is already in the United States, an adjustment of status through a Form I-485 is needed.

Categories of Employer Sponsored Visas in the United States

There are five preference categories of employer sponsored visas in the U.S. Three most frequently used categories follow:

 First Preference

  • People With Extraordinary Ability: With sustained extraordinary national or international ability in sciences, arts, education, business or sports coupled with the documentation to prove that ability, a specific job offer isn’t even needed, so long as the individual enters the U.S. to continue their work.
  • Outstanding Professors and Researchers: International recognition, a job offer and three years of experience are required. The individual must continue with their tenure or a comparable position at a university or place of higher education.
  • Multinational Managers or Executives: These individuals must have worked as a manager or executive for at least one of the last three years by an affiliate, parent, subsidiary or branch of the U.S. employer.

Second Preference

  • Professionals Holding an Advanced Degree: The degree would be beyond a four-year degree with at least five years of progressive experience in the profession.
  • Persons with Exceptional Ability: These individuals have a level of expertise that is significantly higher than other people in the sciences, arts or business.

Third Preference

  • Skilled Workers: Jobs for these people are required to have at least two years of training. The work cannot be temporary or seasonal.
  • Professionals: These individuals have professions requiring a four-year degree from a U.S. University or the equivalent thereof in another country.
  • Unskilled or Other Workers: Those who can fill jobs requiring less than two years of experience or training that aren’t temporary or seasonal.

A fourth preference exists, and it has 18 categories. There is also a fifth preference that involves immigrant investor visas.

Can My Family Members Come with Me?

Upon approval of an employee’s petition, his or her spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can separately apply for immigrant visas. Separate documentation, fees and medical exams are required from all of them.

Whether you’re an employer or an employee, overseas workers can address personnel shortages, especially if potential employees are skilled. The employment immigration process is detailed and complicated, especially if you have little or no experience with it, and you’re an employer trying to get labor certification. The lawyers at Maison Law Immigration Lawyers offer professional legal support to employers and employees from the start of the visa process to its completion. We’ve had years of experience in helping qualified individuals immigrate to the United States. You’ll serve your company or yourself well by contacting us.