EMPLOYMENT BASED GREEN CARDS IN HOUSTON
HOW TO GAIN PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN HOUSTON
Davis & Associates provide top immigration law services to South Texas, including Houston, Pasadena, The Woodlands, Sugar Land, and surrounding areas. Our attorneys provide expert legal counsel in all areas of immigration law including deportation defense, green card acquisition, naturalization, employer compliance, consular visa processing, writs of habeas corpus and mandamus, investment immigration, temporary visas for work and college, waivers, appeals, and permanent residence.
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EMPLOYMENT-BASED GREEN CARDS
It is possible for an employer to sponsor a green card for an applicant that does not currently work for the employer. However, most commonly the applicant is already working for the employer with a non-immigrant work visa, such as an H-1B or L1 visa.
Every year, 140,000 maximum applicants are awarded employment-based green cards. Each country, no matter how populous or small, gets awarded the same percentage of employment-based green cards - 7%, or 9,800. The green cards are divided into 5 categories.
- First preference (EB-1): These are considered priority workers, and include: persons of extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business or athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; managers and executives subject to transfer to the United States. This category is preferred over the others because these green cards are quickly available, therefore it is faster to get approved. But the applications are highly scrutinized and difficult to qualify.
- Second preference (EB-2): These are set aside for professionals with advanced degrees or persons with exceptional abilities, and include: persons of exceptional ability in the science, arts or business; advanced degree professional; qualified alien physicians who will practice medicine in an area of the U.S. that is underserved. For many people looking for a green card through employment, this can be your best bet. These are quickly available and many jobs fit in this category.
- Third preference (EB-3): These are skilled or professional workers, and include: skilled workers (minimum 2 years experience and training); professionals (with bachelor’s degree); and unskilled workers. It is easier to qualify for third preference, therefore, many people do and the wait times can be quite a bit longer.
- Fourth preference (EB-4): These are special immigrants, and include: religious workers; employees and former employees of U.S. government abroad; persons serving as translators with the United States Armed Forces.
- Fifth preference (EB-5): These are investors for job creation, and include investors that can invest $1,000,000 and create at least 10 full-time jobs. In some instances, $500,000 and 5 full-time jobs are acceptable.
The process to apply for an employment-based green card is long and can take several years. At Davis & Associates, our green card attorneys in Houston can be instrumental during this arduous and often times overwhelming green card application process. There are several steps that must be followed in order to receive a green card based on employment.
- The foreign national and the employer must determine if the foreign national qualifies for lawful permanent residency, through one of the paths to lawful permanent residency set by the USCIS.
- The employer must file a labor certification with the Department of Labor stating that no qualified U.S. workers are available or willing to work in the job that the foreign national will perform. The employer must provide proof including job ads, skills requirements, verification of wage for the position and employer’s ability to pay.
- The employer must file a form I-140, which is the application for the employment-based green card (EB-5 will file a I-526 instead). The filing date of the petition is the priority date. This is important, especially when there is a backlog of applications. The applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received.
- Once your priority date is reached and the USCIS has approved your petition, an immigrant visa number will be assigned to the applicant.
- If the applicant is in the U.S., they can apply for adjustment of status. If the applicant is not in the U.S., they can go through consular processing.
Davis & Associates are exceptional immigration attorneys with years of experience helping individuals successfully gain employment in the U.S. through employment-based visas. We know the process first-hand, which path to take, and all the steps to get there. If you would like more information regarding your employment-based green card, call Davis & Associates today!