Coming to the US on an employment-based visa is a complex and difficult process. Most people do not have a clear idea of the different available employment-based visas, their eligibility requirements, and the application process. However, if you are planning on immigrating to the US for work, then it's best to know how to gain US Permanent Resident status.
What Is the Process to Obtain US Permanent Residence Through An Employment-Based Visa?
The general process to obtain US permanent residence through an employment-based visa involves the following steps:
Obtaining PERM/Labor Certification:
The first step to gain an employment-based visa is to complete a labor certification application, also known as, Program Electronic Review Management (PERM). This process takes anywhere from 6 months to a year based on where and when your case was filed.
Filing Petition I-140:
The next step is to get approval on your Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition usually takes up to 8 months to be processed, however, your employer can file for premium processing to get a decision within 15 days of the application being submitted.
Filing Form I-485:
The final step in this process is to apply for permanent resident status by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
If approved, you will be allowed to adjust your status from a nonimmigrant to a US permanent resident. Based on the type of your employment-based visa, you will be required to file a different form to adjust your status. If you have applied for an EB-2 Visa or EB-3 Visa, then your US employer has the option of filing both Form I-140 and I-485 at the same time. Filing both forms simultaneously makes you eligible for filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-131, Application for Travel Document with no additional fee.