Managing a business or organization is not easy. As an employer, there are many things to be taken care of. In course of time, you may see the need to bring over people with specialization in certain areas which are needed for your company’s further development. This might lead you to expand your company employee base. But if you don’t get this specialized personnel from your locality or the other places in the U.S.A., then you would certainly look for these requirements in foreign workers who are US-based or living in other nations and settle them permanently in the USA. Many employers in the USA are open to hiring with green card sponsorship. Let’s see more on that.
Bringing such workers will help you improve the standards of your company and bring your workplace standards to that of the global level. That being said, are you aware of the rules and regulations to bring foreign workers into the US? Do you the processes behind a green card sponsorship for your employee? Do you know what are your obligations and duties as an employer hiring a foreign worker?
If you have similar doubts, then look no further, you are at the right place. Let us go through this article to understand employer responsibilities for green card sponsorship
Employer Hiring With Green Card Sponsorship
There are many ways for foreign workers/ international students to get a green card. Some ways included are to have immediate family members with US citizenship. One can also become a GC holder by investing in a business in the US. Find out more about the ways to be eligible to be a GC holder on the USCIS website. But the most common option for a foreign national to receive a green card is to get sponsored by a US-based company.
Your duty as an employer will involve filing applications for the party involved with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of your employee. Thus, you will sponsor the employee for their GC. A green card obtained in such a way is called an employer-sponsored Green card.
Who are eligible to be sponsored?
Now, once you understand that the local talent pool isn’t enough to fill the empty job position in your organization, you can search for talents among the foreign workers who stay in or out of the US. These employees can be brought and employed under the Employment-Based (EB) category of visas.
The EB-1 category is meant for priority workers. It accommodates
- Professionals who are highly capable in their fields of technical studies, arts, education, business, or sports.
- Expert professors and scientists.
- Managers and executives, possessing multi-nationality.
The EB-2 category is meant for those who are applying for positions needing an advanced degree. It includes
- Foreign nationals who can improve the nation’s economy, culture, or educational proficiency with their exceptional skills in engineering, arts, or business.
- Foreign nationals with an advanced degree or equivalent.
The EB-3 category is for those who are applying for positions that involve a professional, skilled worker, or unskilled worker. It is issued for
- Professionals with a baccalaureate degree from the US or its foreign equivalent.
- Foreign nationals who are equipped for performing skilled work (needing in any event 2 years of preparation or experience) for which qualified laborers are not accessible in the United States.
- Foreign nationals who are equipped for performing unskilled work for which qualified laborers are not accessible in the United States.
The EB-4 category is for a special class of immigrants. Among others, it includes
- Workers in connection with religions.
- Panama Canal Company Employees, Canal Zone Government Employees, or U.S. Government in Canal Zone Employees.
- Certain physicians.
From the above categories, EB-2 and EB-3 are the visa categories that might be applicable for your lookout as these categories concern advanced workers as well as unskilled workers. So we will be looking into further processes of these sponsorship categories.
What is the process to sponsor an employee for permanent residence visa status?
Once you have determined the category of your potential candidate, the application process begins with putting forward a petition at the Dept. of Labor (DOL) for labor certification.
- The initial phase during the time spent getting a green card through employer sponsorship is for you as the employer to get an approved labor certification from the United States Department of Labor (DOL). This process is known as PERM.
- The reason behind this certification is to protect the job opportunities of US workers. The LC certifies that the job position that you want to fill in doesn’t hamper this.
- You must show valid proof that you tried to raise this opportunity for the US workers first with no positive results. On this basis, DOL will clear your certification.
After this certification is provided by DOL, you may now proceed to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to file an I-140 form. This form is used to raise a petition for the immigration of a foreign worker.
- After labor certification, you can now apply for an immigrant petition.
- As said earlier, EB-2 and EB-3 visa categories will be your major focus. You as the employer will raise an I-140 form for your employee.
Once the approval comes from the USCIS for the immigrant visa petition, now depending upon your employee’s location, they can either adjust their visa status or file for an immigration visa.
As an employer, what are the requirements to initiate employer-sponsored GC?
You and your organization must be based in the United States and the job location of the position offered must be in the US. The position offered must be a full-time occupation with permanent status. Here, full-time means 35 or more hours of weekly work, and a permanent position means a position that lasts indefinitely.
The position offered must be one that cannot be filled up by the existing skilled workers in the US market. The occupation must not be an approach to get migration advantages to a foreign national.
As an employer, you must provide attestations for preventing the penalty of perjury. These attestations include that the position is for a full-time job position, that the opening for work doesn’t include unlawful segregation, that the position is available to any US worker, that your organization will pay the foreign national the prevailing wage for the position, that your organization has adequate assets to pay the foreign national the predominant pay, etc. among others.
What is the processing time involved with employer-sponsored GC?
There are three major steps before the employee gets their green card. They are
1. Certification from DOL
The approval for Labor certification from DOL normally takes about 2 to 3 months. In case of an audit, it may extend up to 7 months.
2. Approval from USCIS
After you file for the I-140 form for your employee at USCIS, the processing time about 5 to 8 months. If you are requested to provide additional evidence, this processing time may extend further by 3 to 6 months.
3. Adjustment of Status or Immigrant Visa Processing
If your employee is based in the US itself, then they will proceed with adjustment of their visa status which will take about 6 to 8 months.
If your employee is based outside the US, then the process may take 5 to 7 months.
Employing a foreign national/international student permanently will help you in improving your work standards, especially because of cultural exchange as well as using their skills. While you can complete the processes on your own, having an attorney help you through this will be much better as you can focus on other things.
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