Purpose: Green card through employment explained in easy, simple language.
One can immigrate to the United States based on a job offer or employment in one of the following ways:
- Green Card through a Job Offer
- Green Card Through Investment
- Green Card Through Self Petition
- Green Card Through Special Categories of Jobs
The specifics around green card application vary depending on which category within green card through employment is one applying. However, at a high level, the steps remain consistent:
- Determines eligibility
- File Labor Certification
- Certain employment categories don’t need to file this
- File USCIS Form I-140
- Department of State issues Immigrant Visa Number
- File USCIS Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status) or proceed with Consular Processing
- Only person in U.S. can file Form I-485
- Consular processing is open to both viz. persons in U.S. or Outside U.S.
One may be eligible to become a permanent resident based on an offer of permanent employment in the United States. This option will require an employer to file an Immigrant Petition for the applicant.
Note: This is the most common path within green card through employment category.
Green cards may be available to investors/entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are making an investment in an enterprise that creates new U.S. jobs.
Qualification criteria includes:
- Create or preserve ten permanent full time jobs for qualified United States workers, are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence)
- Invest $1,000,000, or at least $500,000 in a targeted employment area (high unemployment or rural area)
Note: Up to 10,000 visas may be authorized each fiscal year.
Some immigrant categories allow you to file for yourself (“self-petition”). This option is available for either “Aliens of Extraordinary Ability” or certain individuals granted a National Interest Waiver. These categories include:
- Individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, (E11)
- Individuals who were granted a National Interest Waiver (NIW), (E21)
Note: Very few individuals such as Nobel Prize winners, notable athletes, and others who have achieved great successes in their field are eligible to file are considered an E11 immigrant.
Select individuals may apply for a green card through a special job category. These adjustment programs are limited to individuals who meet particular qualifications and/or apply during certain time frames. These special job categories include:
- Afghan/Iraqi Translator
- Armed Forces Member
- International Organization Employee
- Iraqi Who Assisted the U.S. Government
- Afghan Who Assisted the U.S. Government
- NATO-6 Nonimmigrant
- Panama Canal Employee
- Physician National Interest Waiver
- Religious Worker
Green Card through Employment FAQs
Labor Certification is the first step in Green Card through Employment categories for most applications, and is issued by the Secretary of Labor. It is a requirement for U.S. employers seeking to employ certain persons 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.