Area of Law: USA Travel and Immigration
Answer # 1056
Employment Based Green CardRegion: Ontario Answer # 1056
Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) process
There are several employment based green card options. The most common starts with the Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) process. The PERM process involves the foreign national’s company:
- advertising a foreign worker’s role,
- ruling out qualified, able, willing US workers, and
- filing a PERM with the Department of Labor.
Assuming the PERM is certified, the employer can then file the I-140 sponsoring the employee for permanent employment with the company. In some cases, the employee can file their adjustment of status applications (I-485, I-131, and I-765) at the same time as the I-140, but in many instances, the employee is subject to an immigrant visa backlog and will need to wait to file their adjustment applications.
Multinational managers and executives
Multinational managers and executives (employees who were a manager or executive for a parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or branch of a US company), who are now also in a managerial or executive capacity for the US company, do not need to follow the PERM process. For multinational managers, the employer can file the I-140 on behalf of the employee sponsoring them for a permanent role in a managerial capacity. Generally, the employee can file the adjustment of status applications (I-485, I-131, and I-765) at the same time as the I-140, but toward the end of the government fiscal year (October 1 through September 30), available immigrant visas run out and there can be a backlog for several months that preclude filing the adjustment of status applications at the same time as the I-140.
Other options include:
- National Interest Waivers for individuals who meet certain criteria to demonstrate that the work they do is of national interest to the USA if the applicant were allowed to work in that field on a permanent basis. This type of application can self-petition, meaning that an employer sponsor is not necessary.
- Outstanding Researcher or Professor for individuals employed by a university or other research institution who meet criteria to demonstrate that they are within the top of their field. An employer sponsor is needed for the I-140.
- Aliens of Extraordinary Ability for persons at the top of their respective profession. Self-sponsorship is possible. In many cases, the employee can file their adjustment of status applications (I-485, I-131, and I-765) at the same time as the I-140.
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