What is the Process for Obtaining an Employment-Based Visa

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One of the most common questions we get asked by immigrants at Fayad Law is, “What is the process for obtaining an employment-based visa.” The good news is that we understand the struggles and challenges that immigrants face in obtaining an employment-based visa.  Most of our firm consists of immigrants who have gone through various types of immigration matters and challenges. Our experience allows us to serve you with care and compassion. Below is more information about what you can expect when you start the process for your employment-based Visa. 

What is an Employment-Based Visa?

An employment-based visa allows foreign nationals to work in the United States for a specific employer. There are different types of employment-based visas, such as EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3, each with its types of requirements and benefits. Whether you are an outstanding professor, a professional with an advanced degree, a skilled worker, or other worker categories, there is a visa category that fits your qualifications.

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility for an Employment-Based Visa

The first step is to determine which category you may be eligible for. Below are three categories and the criteria for each category. 

  • EB-1: For individuals with extraordinary abilities, outstanding professors, researchers, or multinational executives.
  • EB-2: For professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in the arts, sciences, or business.
  • EB-3: For skilled workers, professionals, and other workers. Skilled Workers” must possess at least 2 years of job experience, education, or training. “Other Workers” must demonstrate the ability to perform unskilled labor (requiring less than 2 years of training or experience

So, you are probably wondering how you determine the right category based on your education, work experience, and achievements. If you are confused about what category you fall under and need assistance with the application process, contact Fayad Law at 202-999-5346 to book a consultation.  Our experienced and compassionate legal team is here to help you obtain your employment-based visa. 

Step 2: Find a Sponsoring Employer

Next, you need to find a U.S. employer willing to sponsor you. This means that a business or company must be willing to offer you a job and support your visa application. 

Please note that Fayad Law does not provide sponsorship, but is here to support you with the immigration legal process and answer any legal questions related to immigration matters. 

Below are some tips to help you get started.  

Job Search: Look for job openings in your field that offer visa sponsorship. Job boards and social media sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor can be useful.

  • Networking: Connect with professionals in your industry through networking events, social media, and industry associations.
  • Direct Applications: Apply directly to companies known to sponsor employment-based visas.

Your potential employer must be ready to go through the process and comply with the requirements to sponsor your visa.

Step 3: Labor Certification Process

Prevailing Wage Determination is the first step which takes 7-10 months. For most employment-based visas, your employer must obtain a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This step ensures that hiring a foreign worker won’t negatively impact U.S. workers. Here’s what this involves:

  • Job Posting: Your employer must advertise the job position to show that there are no qualified U.S. workers available.
  • Application Submission: After the job posting period, your employer submits an application to the DOL.
  • Certification: If the DOL approves the application, your employer receives a labor certification.

Remember that the labor certification process may take 12-14 months (depending on circumstances). Try to remain patient during the process and stay positive.  

Step 4: File the Immigrant Petition

Once the labor certification is obtained, your employer can file an immigrant petition on your behalf with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is done using Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. The form includes details about you and your job offer. 

Below is the process for filing an immigration petition:

  • Form I-140: Your employer completes and submits Form I-140 along with the required documentation, such as the labor certification, proof of your qualifications, and evidence of the employer’s ability to pay your salary.
  • USCIS Review: The USCIS reviews the petition and, if everything is in order, approves it. This process can take several months.

Step 5: Apply for a Visa or Adjust Your Status

After the USCIS approves the I-140 petition, the next step depends on whether you are inside or outside the U.S.:

    • Consular Processing: If you are outside the U.S., you will apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country. This involves submitting Form DS-260 and attending an interview.
    • Adjustment of Status: If you are already in the U.S. on a different visa, you can apply to adjust your status to a permanent resident by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence, or Adjust Status.
  • Priority Date Waiting Period: some visa categories (eg. EB-3 unskilled workers) may need to wait 2-3 years before their priority date becomes current and they qualify for Adjustment of Status or Consular.

During this step, you must provide medical examinations, attend interviews, and submit various documents to prove your eligibility.

Step 6: Receive Your Visa or Green Card

After completing the above steps, you may receive your employment-based visa or have your status adjusted to that of a permanent resident.

“Congratulations! You are now authorized to live and work in the United States and one step closer to achieving your American Dream.”

Additional Tips for a Smooth Process

  • Stay Organized: Keep all your documents in order and be aware of deadlines.
  • Follow Instructions:  Follow all the instructions carefully from the USCIS and the U.S. consulate.
  • Seek Legal Assistance: Consider working with an experienced immigration attorney to navigate the complexities of the process. 
  • Maintaining Legal Status: It is important to maintain legal status in the U.S. during the waiting period of the case if going through an adjustment of status process. 
Do You Need Assistance With the Legal Process of Obtaining an Employment-Based Visa?

 

Obtaining an employment-based visa is a complex process, but with the right guidance and support, you can achieve your “American Dream” of working in the United States. Fayad Law has over 20 years of experience, helping immigrants just like you “Achieve Your American Dream”, contact us today at Fayad Law at 202-999-5346. We are a Virginia immigration law firm with two locations: Fairfax and Richmond. To support the diversity of our clients, we have a multilingual legal team that speaks Farsi, Spanish, Arabic, French, and more.