Certification Is the Prerequisite for a Green Card
As business owner, you may find it easier to hire foreigners on a short-term basis to work for you, rather than commit to offering a long term position with benefits to a U.S. citizen. Sometimes, however, you find a worker who fits so well into your company structure that you would like to have him or her permanently. The only way to accomplish this is for the employee to obtain a green card, but this is not as simple as it sounds, and it will require some effort and time on your part, as well. Green cards that are issued specifically so an employee can work long term in the United States are only granted to those who are offered permanent work and are usually already in country and employed by a company under a work visa. For a foreigner to be issued a green card, the person must apply for alien labor certification, and the employer will act as the sponsor during the application process.
The Certification Process
The alien labor certification process can be slow. The federal government wants to protect the jobs of U.S. citizens and requires a stringent procedure of proof that a foreign worker is needed for a permanent position. Some exception to this certification process do exist, such as highly trained or educated aliens, as the government assumes such workers are always in too short a supply. Examples of these are professors, researchers, who are professionals who hold advanced degrees or have exceptional ability in business, athletics or arts. Some religious workers qualify, as do immigrants who are financially well off and can invest between $500,000 and $1 million that will result in the creation of jobs for other Americans. Therefore, if your business is highly specialized or you are looking for a business partner, you may not need to concern yourself with this process at all.If you do need to help an employee with labor certification, you will need to submit an application to the Department of Labor that describes your job vacancy, the qualifications required for an employee to do the work and how the foreign candidate fulfills these requirements. This may not sound too complicated, but the hurdle an employer will most often face is demonstrating a shortage of eligible native workers exists for the position they are seeking to fill. Your company will be required to advertise its open positions and interview all eligible candidates who are citizens.Meanwhile, your foreign temporary employee must file an application with the Employment Security Agency or State Workforce Agency in your state, either of which will receive the application and will determine the appropriate wage for the job. The foreign employee must then run a recruiting campaign to find citizens who can do the job, which will be closely monitored by your state agency.
Finishing the Process
Once you have determined that a suitable candidate who is a citizen cannot be found, you must then prove this to the Department of Labor. The results of your foreign employee’s recruiting efforts and your publicizing and interviewing process results will be submitted to your overseeing state agency, which will check to ensure everything was done properly. Afterwards, you can send the labor certification application to the Department of Labor, which will again scrutinize the process to determine if any citizens could have taken the job. Once the labor certification approval, your company can file a visa petition. After this receives proper approval, your foreign employee can apply for a green card. This process can be long and cumbersome, so you will want to be certain the workers you choose are truly exceptional. To save yourself some time and complications, you should consider this possibility from the very beginning when you hire a foreign worker with a work visa.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.