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Obtaining Permanent Residence Through Work – VIDEO


Deutsch Killea and Eapen, Immigration Law Firm, advises many American employers and their foreign employees on how to obtain permanent residence through work. The typical case duration can be anywhere from a few months to many years, depending upon the immigration category used and the sponsored employee’s nationality.

The most common case category is “permanent labor certification,” “PERM” for short. This is a 3-part procedure:

  • first, after an exhaustive recruitment process through classified advertisements, the employer requests the Labor Department to certify that the sponsored employee is not taking the particular job away from a qualified, available American worker.
  • second, the employer files an application with USCIS, showing that the employer can afford to pay the sponsored employee the “prevailing wage” for the position, meaning the employer must pay at least the average wage an American earns for the particular position and geographic area, for example a Telecommunications Engineer in Washington, DC, and
  • third, the employee files an application requesting the government to schedule an immigration interview to finalize the case.

The sponsoring employer’s primary responsibility is to undertake extensive recruitment efforts, to test the labor market for availability of Americans for the particular position. The employer may only reject an applicant for the sponsored position for an objective reason, such as lacking required experience or education.

An employer may change its intention at any time and may cease employing or sponsoring the foreign person.

Further, the employer will need to submit its federal tax return or audited financials to the government as part of this process.

A competent immigration attorney will instruct the employer in the appropriate advertisement techniques, prepare the various applications for the employer and employee to sign, and generally guide them through this complicated process.

There are other work-related categories leading to permanent residence:

  • Persons whom the government deems to have “extraordinary ability,” meaning they are highly accomplished in their fields, may sponsor themselves for permanent residence.
  • Others, whom the government deems to be “outstanding researchers” or “outstanding professors,” must be sponsored for permanent residence by their employers.
  • And finally, persons whose work the government deems to be in the “national interest” may also apply.

The employment-based permanent residence process is very complex, so be sure to consult with a competent and accessible immigration attorney.

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