As an employer (or prospective employer), if you want to
sponsor a foreign national to become a permanent resident based
on a permanent job offer, you and the foreign national need to go
through a multi-step process.
In most cases, after the green card ,the process begins when the employer obtains an
approved Application for Permanent Labor Certification from
the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). After the labor certification has
been approved by the DOL, the employer continues the process by
filing Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, on behalf of
the foreign national with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
(USCIS). If prior DOL certification is not required, the sponsoring
process will start when you file a Form I-140 with USCIS. Filing
instructions and forms are available on our Web site at www.
uscis.gov. Sometimes, as discussed below, the foreign national
can combine the Form I-140 with a permanent resident application.
For information on all of the filing requirements and fees for a labor
certification request with DOL, please visit that agency’s Web site at
Which employees may I file for?
A U.S. employer may sponsor, a prospective or current foreign
national employee who is inside or outside the United States and
who may qualify under one or more of the employment-based
(EB) immigrant visa categories. The EB visa categories are divided
into several preference categories. These EB visa categories are
organized by occupational priorities as mandated by Congress. The
first four of these EB visa, categories are available to otherwise
eligible foreign nationals sponsored by U.S. employers:
EB-1 – Priority Workers
• Aliens with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education,
business, or athletics;
• Outstanding professors and researchers;
• Multinational executives and managers.
EB-2 – Professionals With Advanced Degrees or Persons
With Exceptional Ability
• 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 United States;
• Aliens who are members of professions holding advanced
degrees or the equivalent.
EB-3 – Professional or Skilled Workers
• Professionals with a baccalaureate degree;
• Aliens capable of performing skilled labor (requiring at least 2
years of training or experience) for which qualified workers are
not available in the United States;
• Aliens capable of performing unskilled labor for which qualified
workers are not available in the United States.
EB-4 – Special Immigrants
• Religious workers;
• Panama Canal Company Employees, Canal Zone Government
Employees, or U.S. Government in Canal Zone Employees;
• Certain physicians;
• Certain others.
What does the petition do for my employee?
Filing a petition shows that you have the intent to hire the employee
upon the approval of the petition. By proving that you will have
an employer-employee relationship and that the employee has the
necessary qualifications for the job, you provide the employee with
a place in line among others waiting to immigrate based on the
same kind of EB visa category. When the foreign national employee
reaches the head of the line, he or she may be eligible to apply to
immigrate to the United States.
The foreign national’s place in line, known as a “priority date,” will
be based on the date you file the labor certification with DOL or, if
a labor certification is not required, the date your petition is filed
with USCIS. For this reason, there is an advantage to filing as soon
as you are certain that you wish to permanently employ the foreign
How do I file for a current or prospective employee?
You need to determine if the prospective or current employee meet