In some cases, yes, you can offer an immigrant a permanent job in the United States. To do this, however, you will need to obtain labor certification using PERM and sponsor your employee for an EB-2 or EB-3 visa, which are sometimes called “permanent green cards.”
Additionally, you can only hire certain immigrants, including skilled workers, professionals, and individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities. In some cases, you can waive labor certification with a national interest waiver and even hire unskilled workers when qualified employees are not available in the United States.
For more information regarding permanent green cards, please do not hesitate to call our San Francisco attorney today at (415) 761-2732 or fill out our online contact form. We are fluent in Mandarin and serve Spanish-speaking clients upon request.
What Is Labor Certification?
According to the Department of Labor (DOL): “a permanent labor certification issued by the DOL allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States.” To obtain a permanent labor certification, the employer must submit a petition to the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In the petition, the employer will certify to the USCIS that there are no U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are “able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job opportunity.” The employer also has to show that hiring a foreign worker will not have a negative effect on the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
What Is PERM?
PERM stands for program electronic review management, an important part of the permanent labor certification program. Employers and USCIS use PERM to make the permanent labor certification program more efficient. As such, EB-2 visas and EB-3 visas are examples of PERM-based employment-based immigration.
What Workers Are Covered by EB-2 Visas?
Employers can sponsor Second Preference EB-2 visas when filling positions that require an advanced degree, for applicants with exceptional ability in the:
- Or business
- And when hiring someone whose employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation
Unless you have a proposed endeavor with both substantial merit and national importance – and a national interest waiver – you cannot hire an employee without a permanent labor certification.
Some examples of workers covered by EB-2 visas include a scientist who immigrates to the United States to advance the study of a new disease or a filmmaker who immigrates to the United States to work on a movie. Because these employees cannot be “replaced,” or benefit the United States in research or artistic integrity, you can hire them.
What Workers Are Covered by EB-3 Visas?
Employers can also sponsor skilled workers, professionals, and certain unskilled workers for Third Preference EB-3 visas.
Skilled workers must possess at least 2 years of:
- Job experience
- And training
Professionals must hold a U.S. baccalaureate or foreign equivalent degree, and unskilled workers must be performing work for which qualified workers are not available in the United States. All EB-3 visa applications must be accompanied by labor certification and a full-time job offer.
Unlike with EB-2 visas, there are no waivers or exceptions. Generally, EB-2 visas are more restrictive and have slightly longer processing times.
When Should I Get Started?
Like other visas and green cards, EB-2 and EB-3 visas are limited. As such, you should apply for labor certification and sponsor any EB-2 or EB-3 visas you wish to extend early in the year. The sooner you start working on the EB-2 or EB-3 visa process, the sooner your employee can file their application and obtain their permanent green card.
Remember, you cannot hire someone without express permission from the DOL and USCIS, and you cannot employ someone who does not have their paperwork in place.
The Law Office of Zhang Is Here to Fight for You
If you need help with the process, rest assured – The Law Office of Zhang is here for you. We have plenty of experience guiding employers like you through labor certification and the EB-2 and EB-3 visa processes. Our firm has a high success rate in complex immigration cases, and we offer each client personalized attention.
Managing Attorney Emma Zhang, Esq. is deeply familiar with the labor market and professional sphere, and she is an immigrant herself, so she is uniquely equipped to understand what you and your future employee(s) are going through. Our goal is to help you achieve your goals as efficiently as possible.