Green Card through Employment

Permanent Residency: Green Card through Employment

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.

General Requirements:

  • Must obtain a formal Prevailing Wage Determination from the Department of Labor
  • Labor Certification approval
  • Financial Documentation proving the employer has the ability to pay the Prevailing Wage

Common Issues:

  • Receiving an unfavorably high Prevailing Wage Determination
  • Ensuring all recruitment is performed within the requirements of the regulations
  • Maintaining non-immigrant status until Adjustment of Status is approved

Filing Process:

In general, the employment based Green Card is a 3 step process:

  • Step 1 is the PERM, which typically takes 9 to 12 months.
  • Step 2 is the I-140 Immigration Petition. USCIS processing time varies, but must cases can be filed with Premium Processing to request expedited adjudication.
  • Step 3 is the I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status, which is the employee’s application for the green card. If the employee is outside the U.S., he or she would process for an Immigrant Visa at the U.S. Consulate in their home country rather than filing the I-485.

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:


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.

At this time, we are committed to the health and safety of our clients, our staff and our community. The government continues to accept applications and process them as normal. We are equipped to continue to prepare and process all cases. Please keep in mind that most cases take months to process. We want to continue to prepare and process these cases, so that when we do get through this crisis, you will not have lost crucial processing time. We will perform all consultations over the phone and can be best reached through our contact form.