US Employment Green Cards Discussion And Our Services
For a consultation fee of $40 per 20 minutes, I can answer your specific US employment-based green card petition and visa questions. For international clients, I can offer consults and services via e-mail, Skype messenger, and telephonically. For clients close to Gainesville or Jacksonville, Florida, Oslo (Norway) or Prague (Czech Republic), in person consultations are another option. For employment-based green card services and related consular processing followup where applicable, our flat attorney fee can vary depending upon the type of process required, and ranges from $3,000 to $5,000 in most cases, plus USCIS filing fees, consular visa fees, and costs. Refer to our attorney fee schedule page for a listing of common employment-based green card processes and the usual flat fee.
Overview of Employment Green Card Process
US employers are often in need of highly skilled professional workers, especially in technical fields. Over the years, I have assisted many domestic and international corporations hire important workers to help their businesses. Yet despite the demand for highly educated and skilled workers from abroad, the US immigration system often makes it enormously difficult for US employers to hire such workers. A very complicated system has been put in place by various branches of the US government, including the USCIS and Department of Labor, to ensure that foreign workers are not displacing US workers from jobs inside the United States.
Depending upon the type of employment and employee at issue, the process can vary. For example, for employees of extraordinary ability, those who hold advanced degrees, or are of exceptional ability, coming to perform work inside the United States, the process may vary in certain situations, from skilled workers or other professional employees. An initial consultation with the employer and employee, can determine whether a green card process is feasible, and which particular process will apply to the situation at hand.
In the most common scenario the process begins with a recruitment and labor certification application. During this process, the employer conducts an extensive recruitment campaign for the position in question, following regulations established by the Department of Labor for the conduct of such a campaign, to ensure that no US workers are available for the position in question. The details of all aspects of this labor certification application process matter. For example, the job description used for recruitment must reflect the genuine minimum requirements of the position. Often we see employers cater a job description to an intended beneficiary’s credentials and experience, instead of minimum qualifications of the job, as evidenced by prior hires. Thus, when the USCIS requests evidence of the qualifications of former holders of the position in question, if it is shown the job description for recruitment purposes was catered specifically for the intended beneficiary, that will defeat the process, and in many instances, can result in the employer being barred from being able to hire other foreign workers for an extended period of time.
After recruitment, if no US qualified US workers apply for the position in question, then a labor certification application is submitted online to the Department of Labor. The DOL will review the application very carefully, and common mistakes can result in denial. If the DOL is satisfied with the employer’s recruitment efforts, and approves this stage of the process, then the employer will receive a certified approval from the DOL that will be submitted to the USCIS in the next stage of the process.
After labor certification, assuming approval from the DOL, then the employer can submit an I-140 immigrant worker petition to the USCIS. The USCIS will conduct a careful review of the employer’s job requirements, the beneficiary’s educational and work experience credentials, and other aspects of the employer’s business operations, including financial ability to pay the employee’s wages. The USCIS in this day and age routinely scrutinizes these types of employment petitions with a fine-toothed comb, so it is essential that I-140 Petitions be well prepared and documented.
If the I-140 Petition is approved, then an employee must wait for an available visa number. Several categories now have backlogs. In some cases, an employer and employee can help bridge this wait through non-immigrant work visa means, either through student OPT training, or through H1B employment.
I can help you determine the correct process for an employer to hire a foreign national to work for your business in the United States, and work with the employer to carefully craft the process to meet legal requirements and ensure the best chance of success.
How Can Attorney Representation Help With My Case?
Over nearly 20 years, I have represented and counseled numerous clients throughout the United States and internationally in the employment green card processes. Because of the complexity of the green card process for employment, attorney representation is critical. The employment-based green card process is not easy, and is fraught with the potential for mistakes. Given the investment in recruitment costs, and petition costs, an employer is making a wise investment in hiring an experienced attorney to guide it through the employment green card process.
To set up an initial consultation to discuss any questions you have about your employment based green card situation or intentions, please contact us today!