The U.S. government makes a variety of visas available to foreign nationals seeking employment with an American company. These visas allow qualified workers to become lawful permanent residents with employment authorization, as long as you continue to meet certain eligibility requirements. Under current immigration law, foreign nationals residing in another country, as well as those already residing in the United States, can apply for an employment-based visa.
USCIS divides applicants into three priority categories; these categories determine which process the employers must use to file their petitions. EB-1 visas are reserved for foreign nationals of exceptional abilities in their chosen field, and they must submit proof of their qualifications. Second priority workers, or EB-2, are those with advanced degrees or proven abilities, and EB-3 are any other skilled workers or professionals.
Applying for Permanent Residency
Before hiring a foreign national, the employer must receive a labor certification, demonstrating their efforts will not negatively impact the American job market. Once this certification has been received, the employer can then file form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.
The process will also require the employer to file form I-485 to register the address or adjust the status of a foreign national already living in the U.S.
If the worker in question is classified as an EB-2, the employer can file both forms simultaneously. However, in the case of an EB-3, immigration law states the I-485 form can only be filed after the first form has been approved and the priority date has become current.
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