As a worker in the United States without immigrant status, you can petition for an employment-based Green Card which gives you permanent residence in America. Doing so allows you to capitalize on restaurants, food destinations, and services that come highly reviewed from all over the world whether you are in Brooklyn, Manhattan, or San Francisco.
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The form you need for this process is referred to as form I-140. It is titled immigrant petition for the alien worker. This gets submitted to USCIS. However, you don’t want to submit it just at any time. It is very important that you submit it at the exact right moment especially if you are already an employee working in the United States. If you are currently working in the United States, be advised that even if your employer files this form on your behalf, which is very likely, you will still have to help with any preparations.
Preparing your application
How long it takes for you to prepare this petition is based on the type of green card category for which you are applying.
If you are applying based on the category of alien of extraordinary ability, outstanding researcher or professor, most of the time you spend preparing your form will have to do with collecting documents because this particular Green Card category is meant for professional and academic accomplishments. You will have to make sure you have documentation for everything that you have done which might include support letters from other experts in your field. The point here is to make sure you can substantiate the fact that you are an outstanding individual in your field of research for academics.
A qualified immigration attorney can help you draft a cover letter that goes with all of the evidence and explains how you satisfy the requirements for this particular petition. This will typically take a few months to prepare but no two cases are alike.
If you are applying based on the category of Labor certification, this can take a long time because your employer will be required to conduct a test of the labor market after which they will have to complete recruitment through interviews for potentially qualified candidates and then wait another 30 days. The point of the labor certificate is to prove that your employer tried to find equally qualified employment within the United States but was unable to find a qualified candidate who was a US citizen. After that point they can then stipulate that you are qualified to fill a role that someone else was unable to fill. This can take several months to complete, an average of 6 for many situations.
This all refers to the timeline for preparing and completing your application, it does not take into account the processing time on behalf of the government once it receives your application. The processing time varies based on the category of position you are providing. The USCIS website has current processing times but cases are typically decided anywhere between a few weeks and a couple of months. There are situations, though they are rare, where you might receive a request for additional evidence and this can extend the time frame.
It is important for you to take into consideration how many months it might take you to prepare all of the information you need for your application and then subsequently how much processing time there might be on the back end. These two factors together will help you submit your application for a green card with the right timing.
Finding a good employment immigration attorney
A good employment immigration attorney can make all the difference in ensuring your green card application is processed in a timely fashion and without errors. Always make sure that the person with whom you work is a legitimate attorney, one with qualifications, listed on State Bar websites, and not someone who is referred to as a Visa consultant or petition preparer.
Compare more than one immigration lawyer. You might have to take a consultation over the phone or over the computer rather than in person because of covid restrictions, but you should still talk to multiple attorneys and during the consultation ask them some of the same questions to see whether they also give you similar answers and similar legal strategies or prices.
Always avoid Green Card immigration attorneys US based who make promises they can’t substantiate like guaranteeing you will get a green card or promising that your application will go through without a problem.