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Domestic employers have trouble filling jobs in certain industries. Some must look overseas to find qualified people.

U.S. immigration policies support employers who need to import workers to fill jobs at their companies. The U.S. makes thousands of immigration visas available annually to foreign workers and their families.

If you are an employer trying to fill a job with a foreign worker or a foreign national seeking help obtaining an immigration visa so you can accept a job offer, speak with a local immigration attorney. A Cicero employment-based immigration lawyer could assist you throughout the process and enhance your chances of obtaining a positive result as quickly as possible.

Obtaining Labor Certification to Hire a Foreign Worker

An employer wishing to hire a foreign worker must obtain Permanent Employment Certification (PERM) from the Department of Labor (DOL), establishing that importing a foreign worker is necessary to fill the position. The employer must prove that they are offering a full-time, permanent position, that they have advertised the job but have not found a qualified U.S. citizen or LPR willing to take it, and that their job requirements are typical. The employer also must establish that a foreign worker would be paid at least the prevailing wage for similar jobs in the area.

The employer obtains the PERM by submitting the ETA Form 9089. Although the employer is responsible for submitting the form, the foreign job offer recipient also must sign it to verify his or her credentials. A seasoned Cicero employment-based immigration attorney could work with an employer to ensure the application is correct, complete, and contains all the necessary supporting documentation.

Not all employment-based immigration visas require a PERM. Universities and research institutions could sponsor professors and researchers with exceptional credentials for an immigration visa without obtaining DOL certification. Employers with overseas offices can sponsor a foreign executive or manager for an EB1-C visa without obtaining labor certification in some cases. The law allows some other exceptions to the labor certification requirement; consult a knowledgeable immigration lawyer to find out whether an exception might apply in a specific case.

Applying for an Employment-Based Immigrant Visa

Once the employer receives the PERM, which could take several months, they must file an I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. At this point, the application process differs depending on whether the applicant is already in the country or overseas.

Domestic Process

If the applicant is in the country on a non-immigrant visa, he or she could submit a Form I-485 Application to Adjust Status. In many cases, the applicant also could file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, at the same time.

When the forms are complete and processed, the applicant is invited for an interview at a USCIS office. A qualified employment-based immigration lawyer in Cicero could help an applicant prepare for the interview and ensure he or she has the necessary supporting documents. Applicants may learn they have been approved for a Green Card on the day of the interview, or they might receive notification by mail after several weeks.

Consular Process

If the foreign national is overseas, the date the employer submits the Petition is the applicant’s priority date. Once the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves the Petition, the applicant must wait for a visa number to become available.

The U.S. offers several categories of employment-based immigration visas, but each is subject to an annual limit. The visa applicant’s category, country of origin, and priority date determine how long he or she might have to wait before a visa number becomes available. The National Visa Center will send an applicant the instructions for completing their application when a visa number becomes available.

Once the applicant compiles the necessary documents and passes a medical exam, he or she will schedule an interview at the U.S. Consulate in their country of residence. If the consular officer approves the application, the applicant receives a visa package that he or she may not open until they are in the presence of a Customs and Immigration Enforcement Agent at a U.S. border crossing. The immigration visa does not take effect until the border agent clears the individual for entry.

Contact a Cicero Employment-Based Immigration Attorney

Whether you are an employer or a foreign national with a U.S. job offer, the system for obtaining an employment-based immigration visa is complex. Mistakes can derail the process, cause long delays, and might result in denial of a visa.

A Cicero employment-based immigration lawyer at Godoy Law Office is familiar with the pitfalls and knows how to avoid them. Speak with one of our skilled legal professionals about your situation today.

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