United States immigration laws permit up to 140,000 individuals each year with certain skills or education to obtain permanent residency status based on employment or business purposes. In most cases, the process for obtaining employment-based immigration visas or “green cards” involves several steps, including immigration filings by the employer and the foreign national. A Virginia immigration attorney can help employers and foreign nationals complete and file the petitions for employment visas, including gathering the required documentation and evidence to support the request for a green card.
Filing Employment-Based Immigration Petitions
Employment visas or green cards fall into one of five preference categories. The process for obtaining an employment visa is slightly different based on the preference category.
Most categories require that an employer file a petition on behalf of the immigrant worker. Throughout the process, the employer and the immigrant worker must provide documentation related to the job and the individual. The documentation varies depending on the preference category for the filing.
Initial Evidence Required from Employer for Employment-Based Immigration Visas
A U.S. employer filing a Petition for Alien Workers (Form I-40) must provide initial evidence with the petition. The initial evidence required depends on the petition type (Part 2 of the petition that identifies the type of immigrant worker seeking a green card).
General documentation applicable to each petition type includes proof the employer can pay the proposed wage to the immigrant worker and evidence related to qualifying experience or training. In addition to the general evidence applicable to all types of petitions, each type of petition has specific documentation and evidence requirements.
The USCIS provides a checklist for required initial evidence on its website. The checklist contains the general requirements and the requirements for each type of petition.
Documentation Required from Immigrant Workers Seeking Green Cards
After approval of the employer’s application, an interview is scheduled for the immigrant worker. Before the interview, the worker submits certain documentation for review. Generally, all applicants for employment-based immigration visas must provide:
- Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application (Form DS-260)
- Valid passport for at least six months after the anticipated date of arrival in the United States
- Two 2×2 photographs that meet all requirements for photos
- Proof of financial support
- Proof of vaccinations
- Complete medical exam forms
- All required civil documents, including the certified translations of any documents that are not in English (i.e. Birth certificates, adopting documentation, court records, prison records, marriage certificates, marriage termination records, military records, etc.). These documents may vary from country to country, and some documents may not be available from certain countries. The NVC (National Visa Center) may issue additional instructions regarding civil documents.
Immigrant workers may be required to supply additional documentation on a case-by-case basis.
Seek Assistance from a Virginia Immigration Attorney
Employment-based immigration filings are complex. There are very strict requirements for the employer and the immigrant worker. Providing the required evidence and documentation is a crucial component of the application process. Because the number of employment-based immigrant visas granted each year is limited, it is important to ensure the petition and initial evidence are complete and accurate. Mistakes can be costly.
Employers and immigrant workers seeking permanent residence status should consult with a Virginia immigration attorney regarding the requirements and filing process. An attorney who has experience handling immigration matters can make the process of obtaining an employment-based immigration visa as simple as possible by providing step-by-step guidance, support, and legal counsel. Schedule a consult with an experienced immigration attorney for assistance.
Posted in: Immigration
posted on: September 3, 2019