A U.S. employer may sponsor an employee for a Green Card through the Labor Certification process, also known as “PERM.” The job offer must be based on full-time employment. The PERM process requires careful analysis into the job offered and the employee’s qualifications. The employer must also undergo a strictly regulated recruitment process as evidenced by certain job posting and advertisements. If no qualified U.S. workers are recruited, the employer may submit the Labor Certification to the Department of Labor for approval. Thereafter, the employer may file an I-140 Immigrant Visa Petition on behalf of the employee.
In general, the employment based Green Card is a 3 step process:
Please note, some employment based green card categories are subject to visa backlogs, meaning there is a waiting period between Step 2 and Step 3. When a PERM is filed, the applicant receives a “priority date” that establishes their place in line to apply for an Immigrant Visa or Green Card. Each month, the U.S. government issues a bulletin which lists the priority date for the cases that are currently being processed. Once an applicant’s priority date is listed on the bulletin, he or she may begin the Immigrant Visa process or submit an I-485: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin.html.
Once a Green Card is approved, it will be valid for 10 years. As long as you are maintaining your permanent residence and admissibility to the U.S., you may be eligible to renew your Green Card indefinitely. However, we always recommend clients to consider applying for U.S. citizenship through the Naturalization process.