How to Get an Employer Sponsored Green Card: Step-by-Step Guide

Employer Sponsored Green Card

 

As a working professional, you may qualify for a green card by receiving a job offer from a United States employer. This can be one of the best ways to get your green card. The process is straightforward and can be completed quickly. Also, unlike other immigrant categories, which initially grant 2-year conditional green card status, once you are approved for an employer sponsored green card, you are eligible to receive a full 10-year green card.

 

In this guide, I’ll discuss everything you need to know about getting an employer sponsored green card.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I’m the founder of Ashoori Law, a United States immigration law firm, and I would be happy to help you.

 

Overview:

 

  1. What is an Employer Sponsored Green Card?

 

  1. What are the Benefits of an Employer Sponsored Green Card?

 

  1. What is the Process of Getting an Employer Sponsored Green Card?

 

  1. What are the Requirements to Get an Employer Sponsored Green Card?

 

  1. What is the Processing Time to Get an Employer Sponsored Green Card?

 

  1. What Documents are Needed to Get an Employer Sponsored Green Card?

 

  1. Conclusion

 

 

1. What is an Employer Sponsored Green Card?

 

The United States has many different ways for a foreign national to become a permanent resident (green card holder). Some options  require you to make an investment in a United States business. Some options are available if you have immediate family members who as US citizens or if you marry a US citizen. Other options are available for people who have a United States company that is willing to sponsor their green card through a job offer, this is called an employer sponsored green card.

 

To get an employer sponsored green card, a United States company (your employer) will file various immigration forms with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf. Your employer  is considered the petitioner (the party filing the immigrant petition with USCIS) and you are the beneficiary (the party directly receiving immigration benefits).

 

Based on the actions your employer takes on your behalf, they are considered your sponsor.

 

2. What are the Benefits of an Employer Sponsored Green Card?

 

  • Ability to live and work in the United States.

 

  • Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old also qualify for their green cards (as your dependents).

 

  • Direct route to 10-year green card (no 2-year “conditional” green card).

 

  • Lower standards for approval compared to EB1A “extraordinary ability” and National Interest Waiver standards.

 

  • No investment required.

 

  • Eligible to naturalize to become a US citizen after 5 years.

 

3. What is the Process of Getting an Employer Sponsored Green Card?

 

Getting an employer sponsored green card is a 3-step process. First, your employer is required to get an approved Labor Certification from the United States Department of Labor (DOL). Second, your employer must file an immigrant petition on your behalf (Form I-140). Third, you are required to either adjust status (Form I-485) or apply for your immigrant visa (Form DS-260). Let’s now discuss each of these steps in more detail.

 

Labor Certification

 

  • The first step in the process of getting a green card through employer sponsorship is for your employer to get an approved labor certification from the United States Department of Labor (DOL). This process is also referred to as PERM.

 

  • The immigration laws seek to protect the interests, wages, and working conditions of the US workforce. Therefore, before you immigrate to the US, the DOL must certify that there is a shortage of qualified workers.

 

  • This process requires your employer to test the US labor market to see if there are any qualified US workers to fill the position that they are offering to you.

 

  • Your employer must make good-faith efforts to hire a qualified US worker by advertising the job opportunity that is available and by considering the qualifications of all US applicants.

 

  • Your employer must also get a prevailing wage determination from the National Prevailing Wage Center by filing a Form ETA 9141.

 

  • Your employer must file an Application for Permanent Labor Certification with the Department of Labor (ETA Form 9089).

 

Immigrant Petition

 

  • Once your employer has an approved labor certification application, you can proceed with the next step in the process, which is to file the immigrant visa petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

 

  • Employer sponsored green cards fall under 2 visa categories: EB-2 and EB-3. The appropriate category will depend on the job requirements and the individual credentials of the beneficiary.

 

  • EB-2: This category is generally appropriate if the position requires an advanced degree. An advanced degree is a US degree (or foreign equivalent) which is higher than a baccalaureate degree.

 

  • EB-3: This category is generally appropriate if the position requires a professional, skilled worker, or unskilled worker. A “professional” generally holds at least a US baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent. A “skilled worker” is someone who is capable of performing skilled labor (labor that requires at least 2 years of experience or training). An “unskilled worker” is someone who is capable of performing unskilled labor (labor that requires less than 2 years or experience or training).

 

  • The immigrant petition (Form I-140) is filed by your employer. The form is sent to USCIS along with all supporting documentation.

 

Adjustment of Status or Immigrant Visa Processing

 

  • Once the immigrant visa petition is approved by USCIS, the next step is to either adjust status or to apply for your immigrant visa.

 

  • Adjustment of Status: An adjustment of status is the process of converting whatever status you currently have to permanent resident status. In order to do an adjustment of status, you must file a Form I-485 with USCIS. The entire process is handled within the United States. To adjust status, you must be physically present within the United States. In many cases, your adjustment of status application can be filed at the same time as your immigrant visa petition. By concurrently filing both forms, you can significantly reduce the overall processing time.

 

  • Immigrant Visa Processing: Immigrant visa processing, also called “consular processing,” is the process of obtaining an immigrant visa at a US consulate or embassy abroad. To get your immigrant visa, you must electronically file a Form DS-260. You will also be required to attend an immigrant visa interview at the US consulate or embassy of your home country. Upon successful completion of the interview, an immigrant visa should be issued to you within a week. Immigrant visa processing is typically done if you are not physically present in the United States and are therefore ineligible to adjust status.

 

 

4. What are the Requirements to Get an Employer Sponsored Green Card?

 

Employer Requirements

 

1. United States Employer

 

  • Your employer must be based in the United States.

 

  • The position offered must be based in the United States.

 

2. Permanent Full-Time Position

 

  • The position offered must be a permanent, full-time position.

 

  • Full-time means at least 35 hours per week.

 

  • Permanent means that the position should be for an indefinite duration. Temporary positions do not qualify.

 

3. Bona Fide Job Opportunity

 

  • The position being offered must be considered a bona-fide job opportunity.

 

  • With respect to this requirement, the DOL is seeking to determine that the job opportunity is an actual position that the employer is seeking to fill (rather than a way to obtain immigration benefits for a foreign national).

 

4. Employer Attestations

 

  • On the labor certification application, the employer is required to make a number of attestations under penalty of perjury.

 

  • These attestations include some of the following: 1) that the position is for full-time permanent employment; 2) that the job-opportunity does not involve unlawful discrimination; 3) that the position is open to any US worker; 4) that the employer will pay the foreign national the “prevailing wage” for the position; 5) that the employer has sufficient funds to pay the foreign national the prevailing wage; etc.

 

 

5. Good Faith Recruitment Efforts

 

  • The employer must make good-faith efforts to hire a qualified US worker

 

  • These recruitment efforts include some of the following: 1) opening a job order with the appropriate State Workforce Agency (SWA) for a 30-day period; 2) publishing 2 Sunday print advertisements in a newspaper of general circulation.

 

6. Job Requirements

 

  • The job requirements cannot be tailored to the foreign national’s qualifications.

 

  • The job requirements must be representative of what is customary for the profession.

 

  • The job requirements cannot be unduly restrictive.

 

7. Prevailing Wage

 

  • The general concept of the prevailing wage requirement is that the US immigration laws are designed to protect the interests, wages, and working conditions of US workers. Therefore, the prevailing wage requirement was designed to prevent US employers from paying foreign workers less than what a similarly qualified US worker would get paid for the position.

 

  • The employer is required to get a prevailing wage determination for the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) by filing a Form ETA 9141.

 

  • The prevailing wage is the determination of what the minimum wage is for the position offered.

 

  • The wage offered to the beneficiary must be equal to or higher than the prevailing wage.

 

8. Ability to Pay Prevailing Wage

 

  • In addition to getting the prevailing wage determination and offering to pay the prevailing wage, the employer must prove its ability to pay the prevailing wage.

 

  • The employer can show that it has the ability to pay the prevailing wage through: 1) tax returns for the most recent year showing net income equal to or greater than the salary offered to the beneficiary; 2) tax returns for the most recent year showing net current assets equal to or greater than the salary offered to the beneficiary; 3) the beneficiary’s most recent paystub and W-2 showing that the employer has paid the beneficiary a salary equal to or greater than the prevailing wage.

 

Employee Requirements

 

1. Qualification for the Job

 

  • To qualify for an employer sponsored green card, the beneficiary must satisfy the educational and experience requirements of either the EB-2 visa category or the EB-3 visa category.

 

  • The beneficiary must also meet the requirements for the position offered.

 

  • EB-2 Visa Category: Generally requires an advanced degree.

 

  • EB-3 Visa Category: Generally requires either 1) a US baccalaureate degree; 2) at least 2 years of experience or training in the field; or 3) less than 2 years or experience or training in the field.

 

2. Cannot be Inadmissible

 

  • To get your green card through employer sponsorship, you cannot be inadmissible for immigration to the United States. There are 10 categories of reasons why someone may be inadmissible (based on health-related issues, criminal convictions, etc.). You cannot be inadmissible for any of these reasons.

 

3. Must Have Good-Faith Intent to Work for the Employer

 

  • While there is no minimum length of time you are required to work for your sponsoring employer, you must maintain a good-faith intention of working for your employer upon issuance of your green card.

 

5. What is the Processing Time to Get an Employer Sponsored Green Card?

 

As discussed throughout this guide, there are 3 main steps to getting an employer sponsored green card. Here is a breakdown of each of the 3 main stages, along with the relevant processing time:

 

  • Approval of Labor Certification Application
  • Immigrant Petition
  • Adjustment of Status or Immigrant Visa Processing

 

Approval of Labor Certification Application

 

  • Once the ETA Form 9089 is filed with the Department of Labor, it should take about 2 to 3 months to process.
  • If the Department of Labor audits the application, the processing time can extend to about 7 months.

 

Immigrant Petition

 

  • The immigrant petition, which the employer files with USCIS (Form I-140), takes about 5 to 8 months to process.
  • Premium Processing:
  • If a request for additional evidence (RFE) is issued, this process can be extended by another 3 to 6 months.

 

Adjustment of Status or Immigrant Visa Processing

 

  • Adjustment of status: 6 to 8 months
  • Immigrant visa processing: 5 to 7 months

 

Important Points

 

  • In order to adjust status or to apply for your immigrant visa, a visa number must be available. Currently, for the EB-2 and EB-3 visa categories, visa numbers are current and available for all countries except China, India, and the Philippines.
  • To check whether a visa number is available, you can check the Visa Bulletin here.
  • If you are eligible to adjust status, and a visa number is available for you, you may concurrently file your immigrant petition with your adjustment of status application. This can save a considerable amount of processing time, as you will not have to wait for the immigrant petition to be approved before filing the adjustment of status application.
  • From the time you file your adjustment of status application, you should receive your work authorization (EAD) and travel permission within about 3 to 4 months.

 

6. What Documents are Needed to Get an Employer Sponsored Green Card?

 

Here is a general list of some of the documents needed throughout the process of getting an employer sponsored green card:

 

  • Beneficiary’s CV or resume

 

  • Copies of Beneficiary’s diplomas, degrees, and transcripts

 

  • Beneficiary’s work experience letters

 

  • Beneficiary’s birth certificate

 

  • Copy of biographic page of beneficiary’s passport

 

  • Beneficiary’s marriage certificate

 

  • US employer’s tax return

 

  • Copies of the newspaper ads that were published

 

  • Job description for US position

 

7. Conclusion

 

As a foreign national, there are multiple ways for you to get a US green card. Of these, one of the best options is an employer sponsored green card. For the right candidate, the process can be straightforward and relatively quick. If you have any questions regarding any of the information in this guide, or if you’re interested in hiring my law firm to handle your employer sponsored green card, feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. My team and I are highly responsive, and we would be happy to help you.

 

Resources

 

  • Business Immigration Law and Practice – Second Edition – Volume 2 Immigration Concepts. Chapter Two. The Labor Certification Application

 

 

 

 

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Juliana Chen
21:30 04 Oct 21
My experience with Ashoori Law was excellent. The teams were very attentive, always there to help with any of my questions. Always quick to respond and deal with any of my concerns. They are very knowledgeable and professional. I couldn’t be more... pleased with the services that they provided to me. I would highly recommend Ashoori Law to anyone with legal needs.read more
amit singh
16:04 04 Oct 21
I had a consultation with Rohit today. He patiently listened to my case and questions and provided satisfactory responses to all. I am happy with the discussion. I may end up taking a paid consultation for more details. I would recommend them to... others as well. Thanks Rohit!read more
Ashish sinha
00:27 02 Oct 21
I reached Michel to get help on i765(L2 EAD) expedite request. He explained me the chances are slim yet filed the request on my behalf.They are just a message away and revert phone calls anytime. They try to explain every bit of your... case.Despite of my expedite request having a low chance of approval, I am glad that my case was picked it's all because Michel and his team prepared my case so well that I got the expedited request approved.I am so happy, kudos to Michel, venshkha, jaser.Ashish Sinharead more
Dina Ibrahem
22:56 01 Oct 21
I've been dealing with them for a year now, they helped me a lot, very professional and friendly! I am always comfortable taking their advices and consult them through my case and they never let me down. and most importantly is that they are very... humble and available literally any time i needed an advice or if I have any concerns.I also LOVE that they email me before any important appointment I would have, making sure that I receive the mails and always sending me soft copies just in case which is GREAT and they constantly keep reminding all the way till my appointment comes. I am still a client with them and very happy, Thanks to Vaneskha Wilson, Jeser Romero, Lahaina Araneta, Milena Manukyan, Elaine Leduna , Karla Samayoa and of course Michael Ashoori.read more
Sach Gill
19:39 30 Sep 21
Had a chat with Rohit Srinivasa. He is informative and possess good knowledge about the immigration related matters. Highly recommended.
Aniruddha Ghosh
16:53 30 Sep 21
Talked to Rohit Srinivasa from Ashoori Law. He is incredibly knowledgable about US immigration laws and is quite freindly. Highly recommended if you are a student on F-1 (OPT, STEM) or are looking to file H-1B.
Kristina Karalic
18:56 29 Sep 21
We accidentally found Ashoori Law online, but we're so happy we did because they have been nothing but outstanding! Ashoori Team has been helping us with multiple cases, including B, L visas and green cards. Their portal is very user friendly, and... their staff is always responsive, caring and detailed. I'd like to give a special shout-out to their Director of Legal Operations, Lahaina Araneta, who has been an absolute delight to work with. I am highly recommending Ashoori Law to anyone seeking immigration services!read more
Zulfa Sultana
18:18 29 Sep 21
I am glad I chose them. Above everything, they are friendly and work closely with you. Owner of the law firm himself is available to talk if needed. Highly recommending them.
Joao Castro
00:31 29 Sep 21
Michael and his team deserve more than a five star rating. I hired Mike already based on a recommendation from a friend of mine, who also requested his services. My friend gave him five star as well, and this could simply not be different.Since my... first contact with Michael, I've perceived his solid ethical principles, responsive professionalism and personal attention to all details in US immigration complex process. In my case, he was key for me to obtain I-131 permits for three Green Cards - and the documents were shipped after just six weeks after the process initiation. In another process, he has been immediately responsive to replace Green Cards. And all my contacts were online - which is a testimony of his great online reputation.If you are looking for US Immigration lawyer assistance for true delivery, great value and avoid risks and potential problems, the answer is Michael Ashoori Law, with his fantastic team, that really and personally takes care of your immigration needs.JCread more
Ahmad Jawid
01:45 28 Sep 21
Ashoori Law, Michael and his team are very professional , helpful and great people for their clients . i am very glad that i had Ashoori Law team for my paperworks . I recommend everyone Ashoori Law especially for Immigration purposes ask for... Michael .read more
Ariel 0054 Realty
01:43 28 Sep 21
Extremely professional teamWithout any doubt, they can handle with knowledge and expertise any caseYou are in good hands with them
Mittal Patel
20:29 27 Sep 21
Have worked with many immigration Lawyers. Ashoori law was very affordable and got back to me in timely manner. Made sure I was on time with my fillings and that we responded to our RFE with adequate info. Lahaina is one of their E2 lawyers and was... expert with these kinds of cases. Will hire them again for renewals.read more
Pragalath Mohandas
20:30 25 Sep 21
Amazing experience. Ashoori Law firm gave me hope and prepared a strong case & I got my E2 case approved in one week. I spoke to other immigration lawyers & i was not satisfied. its easy to communicate with everyone! I highly recommend them to... anyone looking to get immigration help!read more
bhakti savai
12:26 21 Sep 21
I had great experience with Ashoori Law. Professional, knowledgeable, responsive, client-centric, and timely! Highly recommended!
William & Heather Oon
01:17 20 Sep 21
We are grateful and thankful to Ashoori Law and its team. They are very understanding, patient, responsive with all our enquiries and prompt in providing updates to our status. We highly recommended their service.
Kaushik Kuila
19:43 17 Sep 21
I have used Michael Ashoori's Law Firm for my mother's Green Card processing. I have found them very professional and responsive along the way, answering all my queries in a timely manner. I'll readily use them for any immigrations needs in future.
Hyunwook Shin
07:45 10 Sep 21
Michael Ashoori and his firm helped us navigate the complex filing process, answer any questions we have with care, and eventually attain successful approvals. Highly recommended!
Sharon Shanaya
21:53 05 Sep 21
My case was a bit complicated due to my ex-husband and his family but this firm dealt with my I-485 case so nicely and professionally. I was given only 2 weeks to lodge my application due to my messy divorce. This firm made sure my case was filed... before my conditional green card expires. Got my green card in 5 months even during this Covid time when everything takes ages to process. I Will recommend them to anyone who is having difficulty with immigration. Absolutely the best. Don't waste ur time with other attorneys.read more
H. George
02:10 01 Sep 21
Very professional, they have a very good system to prepare your case and make proper follow ups.My case was a little bit complicated and other places they were taking advantage trying to charge me a lots of money but Michael never did... that.Recommending 100% best lawyer ever.read more
Linda Bradley
06:06 25 Aug 21
Very happy with your services 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
jarka sakacova
01:08 24 Jul 21
I have a very pleasant experience with Rohit from Ashoori Law , he was very patient, professional and had a strong knowledge and answered all my questions in detail. I would recommend highly to use Ashoori Law service.
samah elwakkad
15:36 23 Jul 21
I would like to thank Ahoori law office and all the team who was helping us to obtain our L1A approvalThis office Law is truly dedicated to clients, very responsive and professional, they helped me get through so many obstacles.Can't thank them... enough for their effortsIt's really amazing how they guide their clients until they achieve their goals.Thank you Michael for the amazing dedicated team and a special thanks for Lahaina who is really an amazing person and very knowledgeable and really helpful and supportive, also Christina who has helped me a lot through this.You're the best guysKeep it upread more
raechel schofield
22:07 22 Jul 21
Highly recommend Ashoori Law. My adjustment of status was a smooth and easy process. They are always happy to answer any questions you may have along the way.
Kishore Kumar
21:13 22 Jul 21
I highly recommend Michael and his legal team for being thorough professionals. I worked with Lahaina Araneta and Kelly Raposa. Both are so helpful. They made my adjustment of status to register permanent residence a smooth and seamless process. I... definitely recommend their service !read more
Manoj Gunawardena
13:46 22 Jul 21
My experience with Ashoori Law is very good, all of my questions were quickly answered and clearly. The staff was qualified, friendly. Specially I worked with Mr. Rohit Srinivasa . I can highly recommend them.
Mohammad Ahraz Hussain
19:55 20 Jul 21
The whole process of evaluating the case, submission of RFE and then correspondence was extremely well done!
Zed Karkar
15:06 20 Jul 21
A Very helpful and professional law firm. helped us out with our application.
Inger Nicolaisen
14:57 15 Jul 21
Michael Ashoori’s professionalism and expertise is unmatched in the industry! My experience with Ashoori Law is very positive, all of my questions were quickly answered making my adjustment of status a very smooth process. The staff was... unbelievably friendly and ensured the best amount of care was taken with my case! I can’t recommend them enough!!read more
Sadaf Nadeem
00:42 09 Jul 21
I highly recommend Micheal and his legal team for being thorough professionals. Their knowledge and expertise are second to none and their work ethic is unmatched.
kvshirazi
18:28 08 Jul 21
I had a great experience with Ashoori Law. Lahaina, Michael and Ehsan helped me to get my TN visa approved in no time.Lahaina is very responsive. Being able to reach out and talk to your lawyer/attorney is exactly what you need when you apply for... your visa...I definitely recommend them for any immigration services.read more
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Michael Ashoori Headshot

Michael Ashoori, Esq.

U.S. Immigration Lawyer

I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.

Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.

Got a question? Send me an email.