Contact an Immigration Attorney in Los Angeles Today

Can an Employer Fix Your Legal Status?

You want to live and work in the United States. Being an immigrant is not an obstacle to this aspiration. Despite recent events and political development in the U.S. the country remains open to people from other countries. If you are currently employed, your company may be able to help you attain a settled legal status. Before you start the process, you should retain an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles. An immigration lawyer in Los Angeles can help enlist the help of your employer to get a visa and guide you through the difficulties of the process.

Employee Petitions

Many people base their application for a green card on the relationship they have with someone already living in the U.S. However, an employee petition is another path to U.S. residency. In a global economy, talent like every other resource must be found wherever it exists. If you were recruited to work in a U.S. firm because you have the knowledge, skill, expertise, and experience that your company needs, then it is right for them to help you fix your legal status in the country. You may have come to the country on a temporary visa. If your company wants to make you a permanent part of the team, then you must obtain documentation that gives you the right to live permanently in the country.

For you, as a foreign national, to permanently live and work in the United States as a resident, your employer must go through an application process with the U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Service (USCIS). There are specific requirements that you must meet in order to be eligible.

Alien Labor Certification

Green card holders are non-U.S. citizens who are legally authorized to permanently live and work in the country. To sponsor you for a green card, your company must meet an alien labor certification standard. If you have been working for your sponsor company for some time, you will need to apply for one of the many H1 or L1 visas. You and your employer should know that the processing time for these visas can be lengthy. The main challenge to your employer will be to show that there is a shortage of eligible employees in the U.S. for the job that you are currently doing.

Labor Certification Application

To get the ball rolling on your green card application, your employer must obtain a Labor Certification Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor. Once the LCA has been approved, your employer must file a Form I-140, which is an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Form. It must be submitted to the USCIS Service Center. If you qualify as a “Special Immigrant”, then your employer must file a Form I-140—Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant.

Your employer can submit these documents while you are living and working in the U.S. They can also submit them if you happen to be traveling outside of the country.

As an employee, you must fall within one of four occupational categories to be considered eligible for lawful permanent resident:

  1. Priority Workers: this includes multinational executives and visiting professors.
  2. Professionals with Advanced Degrees or Persons with Exceptional Ability: this includes individuals with graduate and post-graduate degrees and those who have excelled in their field.
  3. Professional or Skilled Workers: this includes people holding college degrees and those who have skills and expertise that are not available in the U.S.
  4. Special Immigrants: this includes religious workers and physicians with highly sought-after expertise and experience.

Once the application has been approved, you will be given an immigrant visa number by the Department of State. You will also be given a priority date, which is a place in line among other visa candidates. Waiting periods for immigrant visas vary widely, but they are influenced by factors such as your country of origin and the number of persons seeking the same kind of visa.

After you receive your immigrant visa number, you can continue to work in the U.S. If you happen to be outside of the country when you receive this number, you will be permitted to re-enter the U.S. and work. If you have a spouse and children, they can also petition for an immigrant visa or adjust their immigrant status. If your family is not currently in the U.S., then they will need to complete this process at a U.S. consulate office near them.

Why You Need an Immigration Lawyer from the Start

You should not even begin this process without the help of an employment immigration attorney Los Angeles. If you are trying to get an employee sponsored visa, then the employment immigration attorney Los Angeles will need to work with both you and your company. They should have the right expertise and experience for this kind of coordination. And as your life and fate depend on the outcome of the application, they should keep you constantly informed of what is going on.

The company you work for may desperately need your talents. And although your employer may have a robust legal team, the kind of expertise required to obtain an employee sponsored green card can only be provided by work visas attorneys Los Angeles. Work visas attorneys Los Angeles are professionals who have handled many cases like yours. They will know how USCIS operates. They will know how the bureaucracy processes, evaluates, and decides applications. The employment visa lawyer Los Angeles you hire will also understand the common mistakes and errors made by companies and applicants. Your employment visa lawyer Los Angeles will help you avoid such pitfalls so that you can have a relatively smooth application process.

You can also use the same immigration labor attorney Los Angeles to help settle the status of your family. If you are applying to permanently live and work in the U.S., you may want to bring your family over to live with you. This must be done with care and diligence. The immigration labor attorney Los Angeles will work closely with you to ensure their applications succeed.