Employment Based Immigration

Employment Based Immigration

There are thousands of permanent and non-permanent immigrant visas available for skilled and unskilled workers in the United States every year. The process of asking for a work visa is one of the most complicated areas of immigration law. You should ask your prospective employer to allow me to represent you through the employment-based immigration process so there’s no additional pressure put on your employer to ask for your visa. I will collect all evidence, fill out all forms, and have contact with your employer personally to make sure you get your work visa on time and in the most cost-effective way for you.

Whether you are an unskilled worker or a millionaire investor, the United States tries to make room for you to immigrate based on your desire to work. All different types of employment, from construction to managing a hedge fund, can open up pathways for you to work temporarily or permanently in the United States. Many times, having a job in the United States can lead to permanent residence, so if you have a skill, this is an option to explore.

Currently, even manual laborers can come to the United States permanently if there is an ongoing need for them in a certain geographical area, and there are no workers from the United States who want to fill the positions. If you are more skilled, a job offer will sometimes be enough to get permission to come work in the United States. Again, if there is a permanent need for you in whatever profession you are in, you may be able to get permanent residence.

Lastly, people who have extraordinary ability in arts, sciences, business, education and athletics do not even need a job offer, and can self-petition for permanent residence.

The first step in your employment-based immigration process is to figure out what category you might be in. Then, find out if a job offer or any preliminary paperwork is necessary. If you are already in the United States in another status, you will need to figure out a way to stay in status while you explore your employment possibilities so that you may be able to adjust status. A lawyer is the first person to turn to help with all of these highly sensitive legal issues.

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If you have an extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics, you can apply for permanent status with proof of your ability. No job offer is necessary in this category. If you are an outstanding researcher or professor, or a multinational executive or manager, you can also apply immediately, but you need a job or job offer, first.  Each of these different categories of professional skills requires different types of proof, and the help of a lawyer is crucial when applying under any of them.

You do not have to have an advanced degree, but you must have preliminary approval from the Department of Labor. That is not easy to obtain, and oftentimes, significant waiting times exist depending on what country you are from. Having a lawyer will help you get the necessary paperwork and help you stay in status while your case is processing.

If you entered the United States legally with a visa, and you have a large amount of money to invest in a United States business ($500,000 to $1,000,000), you can apply for a very unique permanent status. You must create 10 full time jobs with your investment. You must be in lawful status. Whether your investment must be $500,000 or $1,000,000 depends on where you make your investment geographically in the United States. Because of the size of your investment, it is highly advisable that you speak with an attorney who can advise you on all aspects of this case before you get started.

If you are a religious worker, like a nun, monk, priest, or a pastor, you can apply for permanent status. You must have worked in the United States as a religious worker (usually as an R-1 nonimmigrant visa holder) for two years before you apply. You can apply for adjustment even if you have been out of lawful status for less than 180 days. You children and spouse can apply for permanent residence also as derivatives. Make sure you consult with a lawyer to make sure you have complied with the terms of your visa and you are eligible to apply as a religious worker.

If you are from Afghanistan or Iraq and you interpreted or worked for the United States military or government in Afghanistan or Iraq during the war on terror, you can apply for a special permanent status. You must prove that you worked for the government for at least one year and you must get preliminary approval from your military or government supervisor. You must also fear persecution if you were to return to Afghanistan or Iraq. You spouse and children can also apply for permanent status as derivatives. Oftentimes, it is very difficult to communicate with the government agencies that are involved in the application for status under this category, and using a lawyer will make the process much more accessible.