Retaining your foreign national employees is key to the success of your business, and you want to ensure that they can be with you for as long as possible. When you employ professionals from across the globe, you need a legal partner with expertise in employment-based immigration law. The team at Trow & Rahal has been helping U.S. and multinational employers obtain permanent resident cards for their employees since 1993. When your valuable employees become eligible for green cards, you can trust our team to streamline routine cases and resolve challenging situations.

Labor Certification Application (PERM)

The most common way for foreign nationals to obtain employment-based permanent resident status is through the Labor Certification application process that employs the Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) system, managed by the Department of Labor (DOL). We have extensive experience in assisting employers with filing green card applications for employees through the PERM system. There are three steps to this process:

  1. PERM Labor Certification Application. The employer must first obtain a prevailing wage determination and then conduct recruitment within a 180-day period prior to filing the online application. Once the application is filed, the DOL requires that the employer maintain an audit file of the recruitment and the employer’s inability to find qualified and available U.S. workers.
  2. Immigrant Visa Petition. After the DOL approves the PERM labor certification application, the next step is to prepare and file an immigrant visa petition (Form I-140) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). By filing the immigrant visa petition, the employer is indicating that it has been unable to find qualified and available U.S. workers for the position and that it has identified a foreign national who qualified for the U.S. position prior to filing the PERM application.
  3. Adjustment of Status Application or Immigrant Visa Application. If the foreign national is in the U.S. with temporary work authorization, the last step in the process is to file an application to adjust status to permanent resident status. If the foreign national is not yet in the United States, the last step in the process is to file an immigrant visa application at a U.S. consulate in their home country.

Employment-Based Permanent Resident Special Categories

There are several permanent resident categories that allow the filing of an immigrant visa petition without first having to file a PERM labor certification application. Most of these require an offer of employment. Trow & Rahal works with individuals and employers to file green card applications in the following categories:

  • Extraordinary Ability (EB-1a). A foreign national or their employer is eligible to file an immigrant visa petition if they can demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. This means that the foreign national has national or international acclaim and has become one of a few who have reached the top of their field, and their achievements must be documented through extensive documentation. No offer of employment is required, and a foreign national can self-petition.
  • Outstanding Professors and Researchers (EB-1b). For an employer to file a petition for a foreign national in this category, the employee must be recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic field, have at least three years of experience in teaching or research in that field, and seek to enter the U.S. for a teaching or research position at an institution. While often they will have Ph.D. degrees, it is not a requirement of this category. They must meet two of six criteria, and the employer’s offer of employment must be for a tenure track or similar level permanent research or teaching position.
  • Multinational Executives and Managers (EB-1c). For an employer to file a petition for one of its foreign national employees in this category, the employee must be employed or be seeking employment in the United States as an executive or manager with the same company (or a parent, subsidiary, or affiliate) that employed them outside the U.S. as an executive or manager for at least one year during the past three years.
  • National Interest Waiver (EB-2). This does not require an employer to file, and a foreign national can self-petition, just like the EB-1a Extraordinary Ability petition. To qualify for this waiver of the PERM labor certification, the foreign national’s work must be deemed to be in the national interest of the United States, and the individual must have “Exceptional Ability” or an “Advanced Degree.” Extensive documentation is required to show that the foreign national’s work will be in the “national interest” of the United States and that the foreign national is in the position to further that national interest.
  • Special Immigrants (EB-4). The special immigrants eligible for this status include religious ministers and workers, broadcasters, Iraqi and Afghan translators, physicians, retired NATO-6 employees, international organization employees, and others.

The team at Trow & Rahal can assess your options and help determine which green card category is best.

Are You an Employer Seeking Legal Immigration Help to Retain Your Foreign Talent?

If you are an employer seeking legal immigration help to retain your foreign employees, you should speak with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible. We have been helping employers with the immigration process related to their employees since 1993 and always work towards exceeding expectations. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 202.537.4830 to discuss your specific business immigration legal needs. We service clients throughout the United States from our Bethesda, Maryland office and look forward to working with you.