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Immigrant Visas
(Permanent Residency / Greencard)

Obviously, not all foreign nationals qualify for Permanent Resident status. Therefore, the first analytical step of a case is to determine whether the applicant's situation/basic fact pattern falls within any of the situations enumerated in the law for the acquisition of Permanent Resident status.

Pathway #1 Family-Based Immigration
Pathway #2 Employment-Based Immigration
  EB-2, Labor Certification
  EB-3, Labor Certification
  EB-5, Labor Certification
Pathway #3 Refugee/Asylum: Fear of Persecution
Pathway #4 The Diversity Lottery Program
Pathway #5 Various Special Programs


Pathway #2 : Employment-Based Immigration - EB-2 - Labor Certification

The first step in nearly all employment-based, permanent residency cases is Labor Certification (LC). The goal of the LC process is to determine that the insufficiency of U.S. workers in the local area warrants the hiring of a foreign worker for a particular position. The local labor market is tested via advertising and other competitive recruitment. Under the PERM process, recruitment is conducted prior to filing to test the market. Recruitment includes two Sunday print advertisements, and for certain occupations, further forms of recruitment such as job search websites, postings on company websites, employee referral programs, or local newspapers. A job order with the State Workforce Agency is also required. Upon completion of the recruitment, an Audit File is created that includes the evidence of recruitment as well as information on the company's existence, ability to pay, and the credentials of the foreign national. A PERM case can be submitted either electronically or through the mail, though generally it is recommended to file electronically. A decision takes an average of 45-60 days.  However, processing times change constantly, thus, please check the DOL’s website at noted in the useful links on this website for current processing time frames.   Moreover, the application may be subject to a  selective or random audit, which can increase the expected processing time.

Please note that applying for a labor certification does not bind the employer legally. The employer remains free to dismiss the employee or to take other personnel action as it would with regard to any other employee. Also, the employer may withdraw the labor certification application at any time.

On the other hand, the application does not bind the employee to the employer either. However, it is important, before expending great amounts of time and effort that the employee is sure that there is relative job stability and that the employee will be remaining with the employer at least until the whole process has been completed.

Qualifying Criteria (click to expand )

NOTE: Immigration law changes frequently. The resources and information provided on this web site are intended to help you understand basic issues involved in the immigration process, and are offered only for general informational and educational purposes. This information is not offered as, nor does it constitute legal advice or legal opinions. Although we strive to keep this information current, we neither promise nor guarantee that the information is the latest available, or that it applies to your specific situation. You should not act or rely upon the information in these pages without seeking the advice of an attorney.

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