One of the methods by which many people become lawful
permanent residents of the United States is what is known as "employment based
immigration." This involves demonstrating that the applicant has valuable work
skills that will benefit the country.
In most cases, the foreign national requires sponsorship by an employer. The only self-petition categories available are the employment based first (EB1) "extraordinary ability" and employment based second (EB2) "national interest waiver" petitions. All others require employer sponsorship.
Irrespective of whether a foreign labor certification is required, all employment based immigrants must file, or have filed on their behalf, an immigrant preference petition — form I-140. Approval of this petition is significant for several reasons: It perfects the applicant's priority date; It confirms the applicant's immigrant preference classification; and it makes the applicant eligible to apply for immigrant status as soon as his or her priority is "current."
Unless and until an I-140 petition has been approved, the beneficiary of the petition only has an expectation of a specific priority date. After the I-140 petition has been approved, the priority date vests and the employee "owns" it forever, unless it is revoked by the USCIS for fraud or mistake. If an employer withdraws an approved I-140, the beneficiary remains entitled to that priority date for all subsequently filed I-140 petitions for any job, by any employer, and in any of the first three employment based preferences.
In many cases, a person with an established employment based preference priority date (such as an EB3 beneficiary) will want to "upgrade" to a higher preference classification. This may be possible, depending upon the unique facts and circumstances presented..
Frequently Asked Questions:
We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions (and answers) concerning employment based immigration. To read them, please click here.
In 2000, Congress enacted special legislation to provide a package of benefits to employment based immigrants. Most notably, this included job/employer portability for applicants who file for adjustment of status but do not receive an approval within 180 days. For more information, please click here.
Often, petitioners receive requests for evidence (RFE) from the USCIS when they file an I-140 petition. The following is taken from the USCIS Adjudicator's Field Manual and explains, at least in part, why some petitions are selected for RFEs. To learn more, please click here.
We assist both employers and employees in navigating the employment based immigration process. To learn more about how we can assist you with different types of employment based immigration matters, please click here.