Specific Occupations

Specific occupationsRequirements and procedures often vary, depending upon the occupation involved. Some require little processing. Others are much more complex. Some occupations are very quick and easy to process, others are extremely difficult. For more information, please click here.

Foreign Labor Certification (PERM)

PERMMost employment based immigrations require employer sponsored foreign labor certifications. This process is highly technical and we often see applications denied because an employer failed to take a relatively trivial step. Most employers, however, really do not understand the process or what is required of them. For more information, please click here.

PERM Exempt Petitions

PERM exempt petitionsCertain categories of employment based immigrants may qualify without the need for a foreign labor certification. These include all of the EB1 categories and the EB2 national interest waiver category. Similarly, EB2 and EB3 "Schedule A" petitions do not require PERM approvals. For more information, please click here.

Retention of Priority Dates

Retention of priority datesGenerally, once an immigrant preference petition has been approved, the beneficiary is entitled to that priority date for life. A priority date may be transferred to another petition even if it is in a different category. For more information, please click here.

"Progressive Experience"

Progressive experienceThe term "progressive experience" is used in the law, but is not specifically defined. For more information about this phrase, please click here.

Employment Based Green Cards

Employment based green cardsOne 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.

AC21 Benefits

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.

Why the USCIS Sometimes Issues Requests for Evidence for I-140 Petitions

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.

What we can do to help you

What we can do to help youWe 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.

Priority Dates

priority dateWhen an EB applicant begins the immigration process, that date becomes the applicant's "priority date" (or place on the waiting list). How "cutoff" dates are set and their likely forward movement are mysteries to most applicants, even though the process is relatively straightforward.  For more information about priority dates and cutoff dates, please click here.

Preference Categories

Preference categoryThere are three primary immigration categories for employment based immigrants. The differences are significant and can determine how long someone must wait to get a green card. The requirements for each, and the different classifications within each, are somewhat technical. For more information, please click here.

 EB3 to EB2 Upgrades

EB3 to EB2 upgradeUpgrading from the employment based third preference to employment based second preference can eliminate years of waiting. It is not only possible, but applicants take advantage of this benefit every day. For more information, please click here.

Supporting Documents

Supporting documentsEmployment based immigrants must provide highly specific supporting documents to establish their eligibility. If an applicant is unable to establish eligibility for the benefit he or she seeks, then the petition will be denied. The USCIS has very stringent rules for this type of evidence.  For more information, please click here.