In many cases, the answer is, “Yes.” However, changing laws and regulations can influence how long the process will take. The job itself and the employee’s credentials also determine how you would go about the green card application process.
Don’t Lose Loyal Employees
I receive a lot of calls from employers who want to help their loyal employees who are working in a temporary, nonimmigrant visa status, file for a green card. Employers, from ranchers to universities, want to sponsor an employee for a green card for many reasons, including as a reward for an employee’s reliability and loyalty and to retain talent that the employer can’t find locally.
Keeping your foreign workers is a win-win situation. In many industries, including agriculture, medicine and technology, U.S. workers and foreign workers strive to advance important projects that benefit American citizens and workers.
The Benefits to You as an Employer Are Clear
- You’ll have greater stability in your workforce because you know your best employees will stay for the long-term
- A current employee’s performance is a known quantity
- Current and former employees need only a minimal training if they return to a job they already know
- Employees who are familiar with your practices and procedures are a lower health and safety risk who reduce the potential for accidents and injuries
- Foreign workers fill jobs that no U.S. workers are willing, able and qualified to do, as certified by the U.S. Department of Labor
How Does the Process Work?
For most green-card-through-employment applications, the employer must do the following:
- Define the job and the skills, education and experience required to perform it
- Recruit for U.S. workers who can fill the position
- Obtain certification from the Department of Labor that you cannot find a U.S. worker to fill this position
- File the employment-based application (I-140) with USCIS for each specific employee, proving that you have a job available
- File the green card application or immigrant visa application (I-485 for permanent resident status). In some cases, you can file both forms at the same time.
- Congress limits the number of employment-based green cards that are available each year and the Department of State allocates them to applicants. In some cases, this last step in the process is what causes the longest delays—if no visas exist, the employee must wait until one becomes available. Since, this is somewhat predictable, we will help you keep your employee in legal status in the U.S., if possible, while waiting for a visa to become available.
The Entire Process is Complex but Available to Employers of all Sizes
And, while it’s complex, it’s not impossible. Things just need to be done in the right order, with the right documentation and with full disclosure and complete compliance. Any size employer can do this. You don’t need to be a large corporation to sponsor an employee for a green card.
Contact Me to Discuss How You Can Sponsor Your Employee
Our entire immigration system, which includes the laws and policies governing everything from asylum law to family immigration to extraordinary researchers and professors, is in a state of uncertainty.
It’s best to meet with an immigration lawyer who can help you define your job category; the education, training