Seeking a Green Card Through Work: Know Your Options for Permanent Residency
Certain types of employment in the United States may provide the opportunity to apply for a green card. Obtaining a green card grants you permanent residence in the United States, and can open up many more opportunities, including the possibility of applying to become a U.S. citizen in the future. At Millar & Hayes, our Seattle lawyers can help you through the process, avoiding pitfalls and mistakes that can sometimes cause delays and denials.
Applying for a green card based on employment involves several steps, and many technical requirements must be met. You should consult with an attorney before applying.
Eligibility: Preference Categories
To qualify for permanent residence based on employment, all applicants must fit within specified categories:
- First preference: EB-1 priority workers. This category is for persons with "extraordinary ability" in the sciences, arts, education, business, and athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; and certain multinational executives and managers.
- Second preference: EB-2 professionals. This category is for persons with "exceptional ability" or who have advanced degrees and are members of a profession.
- Third preference: EB-3 workers. This category is available for skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers. Applicants must have a qualifying job offer and obtain a labor certification.
- Fourth preference: EB-4 special immigrants. This category is for religious workers and other special categories of immigrants.
- Fifth preference (EB-5) is for substantial business investors.
Each category imposes different requirements on applicants. You should speak with an attorney before beginning the process to ensure that you are eligible.
Obtaining a Green Card
The process of obtaining a green card for permanent residency in the United States can sometimes take longer than you might desire. The application process involves a petition filed by the employer and an application for permanent residence filed by the employee. The employee must meet all admissibility requirements. We have years of experience screening applicants to anticipate and address any concerns you may have. Under our guidance, you can make sure that you are appropriately moving forward in the process, and we work to help you achieve favorable results.
In addition, many people can obtain a visa to work in the United States while they wait for their green card application to be approved. We can also assist with this process, as we frequently prepare a wide range of work visa applications.
Consultation: Business Immigration Attorneys for Your Needs
If you are serious about getting legal assistance, a consultation is the best place to start. Spend up to a full hour with an immigration attorney to discuss the details of your case, get answers to your questions, work through complex issues and supporting documents and plan an immigration strategy for obtaining benefits.