Foreign nationals who want to work in the United States typically require the sponsorship of an employer. U.S. immigration law allows a limited number of workers per year to qualify for employment-based immigration visas; depending on the category in which they are applying. Some foreign nationals may remain in the U.S. while their visas are being processed, while others must process their visas through the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their country of origin. Either way, the process is complex and to ensure a positive outcome, it is important to work with a skilled immigration attorney.
At Law Offices of Tina Sharma, we have several years of experience assisting foreign workers and American-based companies that want to employ them. We provide experienced representation for all types of U.S. employers; including corporations, small businesses, health care providers, non-profits, and educational institutions who are seeking employment-based immigration visas for prospective employees. We have in-depth knowledge of immigration law and what it takes to navigate the complexities of employment-based visa applications, and we put our extensive experience to work to help ensure a smooth and seamless application process for each client we serve.
We provide skilled assistance with a wide range of employment-based immigration visas, including:
Guiding Employers and Applicants through the Employment-Based Visa Process
For the majority of those seeking employment-based immigrant visas, there are three major steps involved:
1. PERM Labor Certification
To sponsor a foreign worker, the employer must first complete the PERM Labor Certification process with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This involves filing a Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) request, conducting good faith recruitment (in keeping with DOL guidelines) and filing ETA Form 9089 (Application for Permanent Employment Certification) with the DOL. Certain foreign nationals may apply for permanent resident status without obtaining labor certification; these include Schedule A workers (nurses, physical therapists and those with exceptional ability in science or arts), physicians, outstanding researchers, multinational managers/executives, National Interest Waiver cases, and those with extraordinary ability.
2. Immigrant Visa Petition
After going through the PERM Labor Certification process, the employer files a Form I-140 (Immigrant Visa Petition) with the USCIS. In most cases, the employer must file this form as the petitioner with the foreign worker as the beneficiary. There are limited instances when a foreign national has high level skills and is qualified to file a petition on their own without an offer of employment from a U.S. company.
3. Application for Permanent Residence (Green Card)
Once your Form I-140 is approved by the USCIS, you must wait until a green card becomes available. In some cases, a green card may be available immediately. Otherwise, you will need to wait until your priority date becomes current. When a green card is available, a Form I-485 is filed to obtain permanent residence. If you are applying from outside the United States, this process is known as “consular processing”. If you are already lawfully present within the United States, this process is known as “adjustment of status.”
Employment-based immigration visas can be complex and confusing. At Law Offices of Tina Sharma, we take the time to thoroughly analyze your specific circumstances and determine the best path forward to securing a successful outcome. For a personalized consultation, contact our office today at (202) 329-6556.
Law Offices of Tina Sharma provides skilled employment-based immigration services for companies throughout the country including in the Washington, D.C. metro area, Virginia and Maryland; including the communities of Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas, Annandale, Springfield, Herndon, Reston, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, College Park, Germantown, Frederick, Hyattsville, Bowie, Annapolis, Fairfax County, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.