Legal Services

Employment Based Greencard
Our law firm assists many of our clients in obtaining green cards based on employment sponsorship and certain types of self-petitioning employment based categories. The partners at Durkin & Puri enjoy getting to know our clients and learn about their varied and impressive individual knowledge and skill sets. We help clients determine which employment based immigration category is most suited to their background and goals.

Employment based immigration is one of the primary ways that people can become green card holders either through immigrating from abroad after consular processing or adjusting status in the United States. Our firm can guide you through this process and we will answer your important questions such as:
1. Based on my preference category, priority date and country of origin, how long can I expect to wait to get my green card?
2. Do I have enough evidence to show that I have extraordinary ability in my field?
3. Do I have to maintain valid non-immigrant status while my employment-based green card case is pending?
4. What kind of recruiting for U.S. workers must an employer show?

Basic Information on Employment Based Categories
The process to obtain permanent residence through employment generally involves several steps. In most cases, a U.S. employer must file a labor certification application (Form 9089, also known as a "PERM" application) with the Department of Labor. This PERM application must first be approved before the employer can file an immigrant petition for alien worker (Form I-140) with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. In the last step of the process, when a visa number becomes available, the applicant can either file an application to adjust status (Form I-485) if they are presently in the United States and are eligible to adjust, or apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad.

There are five categories of employment-based immigration:
  • First Preference (EB-1 priority workers): aliens with "extraordinary ability;" outstanding professors and researchers; and certain multinational executives and managers.
  • Second Preference (EB-2 workers with advanced degrees or "exceptional ability"): aliens who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent and aliens who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the U.S.
  • Third Preference (EB-3 professionals, skilled workers, and other workers): aliens with at least two years of experience as skilled workers, professionals with a baccalaureate degree, and others with less than two years of experience, such as an unskilled worker who can perform labor for which qualified workers are not available in the U.S.
  • Fourth Preference (EB-4 special workers including those in a religious occupation or vocation, such as ministers): aliens who, for at least two years before applying for admission to the U.S., have been a member of a religious denomination that has a non-profit religious organization in the U.S., and who will be working in a religious vocation or occupation at the request of the religious organization.
  • Fifth Preference (EB-5 Employment Creation): aliens who can invest $1,000,000.00 in a new commercial enterprise that would employ 10 U.S. citizens or authorized immigrant workers or other foreign nationals who invest $500,000 in a designated Regional Center that would employ 10 U.S. citizens or authorized immigrant workers

After I-140 Petition Approval
Once a petition is approved, the beneficiary must show that he or she is not subject to any grounds of inadmissibility that would prevent permanent residence from being granted. Grounds of inadmissibility include: having committed fraud to obtain an immigration benefit; prior deportation; certain criminal convictions; and certain medical conditions among many others. Some of the ways that U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services or the Department of State (if you are applying for an immigrant visa in your home country) determines if any grounds of inadmissibility apply include:
  • the beneficiary to undergo a medical exam to determine whether s/he has any communicable diseases
  • Requiring the beneficiary to submit to fingerprinting and background checks to determine whether s/he has any criminal convictions
Even if a beneficiary appears to be inadmissible, our firm will evaluate whether the beneficiary qualifies for any waivers of the ground(s) of inadmissibility and, if so, assist with the involved process of preparing a detailed, well-documented waiver application.

For more information or to schedule a consultation with Durkin & Puri contact us.
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