Most of the employment-based petitions require a Permanent Labor Certification (Labor Cert) from the Department of Labor and a permanent, full-time job offer. The operation of the permanent labor certification program is generally referred to as PERM. Once a permanent labor certification application has been approved by the DOL, the employer will need to seek the immigration authorization from USCIS.
Generally speaking, there are three steps before you become a permanent resident of the United States. First is that your employer must seek a PERM to show there is no Americans available for the job offered to you. Second is to submit the Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, to USCIS. Last is the filing of the Form I-485, Adjustment of Status, or Consular Processing if the applicant are outside of the U.S.
How long will the entire process take? Well, before seeking the PERM, the employer needs to advertise the job offer to potential job seekers. After that, the Department of Labor has to adjudicate the PERM, which will take four to eight months. If the PERM is successful, and the employer files the Form I-140 immediately after, it will take another six months. However, the employer can seek premium processing to speed up the process for a fee. If the I-140 passes, the applicant now awaits the visa bulletin to update his or hers priority date. EB-2 or EB-3 of China faces a relatively long wait, but not all countries are the same. Once the priority date is current, the applicant can seek to adjust status, which will take another approximately six months to adjudicate.
Employment-Based Immigration: Second Preference EB-2
An employment-based, second preference visa is available to you if you are a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or a foreign national who has exceptional ability.
- Under the Advanced Degree subcategory, you have to prove that the job you apply for require an advanced degree and you possess such a degree or its equivalent (a baccalaureate degree plus 5 years progressive work experience in the field). Typically, documentations like official academic record showing you have an advanced degree is sufficient.
- If you are an alien with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, you can apply for EB-2 as well. Exceptional ability documentations generally include, academic record, license to practice your profession, at least 10 years of full-time experience, recognition for your achievements, and etc.
- Last but not least, a national interest waiver (NIW) will waive the Labor Certification process because your admission is in the interest of the United States. NIW applicants generally need to prove the combined quality of exceptional ability and your employment will greatly benefit the nation. In addition, the alien seeking a NIW can petition for him or herself.
Employment-Based Immigration: Third Preference EB-3
The EB-3 category is designed for skilled worker, professional, or other worker.
- Within the Skilled Worker subcategory, you must show that your job requires a minimum of 2 years training or work experience.
- The Unskilled Worker subcategory requires the applicant to demonstrate capability of performing unskilled labor.
- If you seek to be qualified as a professional, you must be able to demonstrate that you possess a U.S. baccalaureate degree or the equivalent, and that a baccalaureate degree is the normal requirement for entry into the occupation. There is no substitution for the degree requirement.
一般来说， 申请需要三个步骤 1） PERM永久劳工证书短缺证明； 2） I-140移民申请； 3）I-485调整身份或者领事程序申请移民签证。法律禁止雇员承担其中的任何费用. 雇主在向劳动局提交永久劳工证书申请前，大约要三到四个月的时间做广告证明缺乏美国劳动人力。提交劳工证书以后，劳动局通常需要六个月以及更多的时间进行研究调查，然后才能知道结果。永久劳工证书批准以后，雇主可以为雇员递交I-140表格。 I-140表格一般也需要六个月左右处理，但是同时也可以要求加钱申请加速审理。 I-140批准后，申请者需要按照排期表排到以后才能递交I-485调整身份表格。目前的中国排期一般需要两到三年左右。美国国务院每月都更新签证排期看板。也就是说，有H-1B签证的朋友需要尽早进行绿卡申请。在递交I-485调整身份表格之后，一般六个月左右绿卡就会下来了。
- 就业移民：第二优先EB-2。 如果您是拥有高级学位或同等学历的专业的成员，或具有特殊能力的外国人，您可以获得基于就业的第二优先签证。
- 最后的一项是，国家利益豁免（NIW）。申请人不需要劳动认证流程，如果您的工作是可以对美国做贡献的。 国家利益豁免申请人通常需要证明特殊能力以及您的就业将大大有益于国家。此外，寻求国家利益豁免的人可以为他或她自己请求，不需要雇主参与。
- 就业移民：第三优先EB-3。 EB-3类别是为熟练工人，专业人员或其他工人设计的。
- 在“Skilled Worker 熟练工人”的子类别中，您必须证明您的工作需要至少2年的培训或工作经验
- Unskilled Worker 不熟练工人的子类别，申请人展示执行非熟练劳动力的能力。